Peace-Keeping Lies in the Autobiography and the Play

In the chapter “Chickpeas and Parched Rice,” in the autobiography, Growing Up Untouchable in India, Moon tells the readers that his mother lied to the neighbors about making non vegetarian food. Since most of the people in that locality were vegetarian, Purnabai, Moon’s mother, couldn’t able to make non vegetarian food in her home. As she wanted to eat meat, once, she made it. However, when the woman, Baina, asked her by recognizing the smell of mutton, Moon’s mother replied, “‘I bought a jackfruit today’” (Moon 53). Moreover, Moon writes, “She would call fish the ‘vegetable of leaves and pods’ and say eggs were ‘potatoes’” (ibid.). According to Judith Viorst, this is a peace-keeping lie. She told the lie to avoid argument and keep peace. If she divulged the truth, its implication was bad. She might have to leave the place. According to Viorst, this lie is not considered as a fault; however, I think that she shouldn’t tell the lie. If anyone caught her making meat, she would have lost trust from the community. After telling the lie, she did two mistakes. First that she made non vegetarian food in her home; second that she told a lie to her neighbors. In this case, her situation after telling the lie would be worse than the first situation.Therefore, she should avoid telling the lie.

Similarly, in the play “Death of a Salesman,” Willy told a lie to Biff. When Biff went to Boston to inform his father that he flunked math  and asked for help, he saw the woman in his home. When he was confused to see the woman, His father told a peace-keeping lie to protect himself. He said, “Ah – you better…. They must finished painting by now. They’re painting her room so I let her take a shower here. Go back, go back. …This is Miss Francis, Biff, she’s a buyer” (Miller 44). Here, Willy told the lie to his son, so his son became angry at him. Consequently, he told “a liar” and “phony little fake” to his father (Miller 45). It also decrease Biff’s faith on his father, and he didn’t want to go with his father to meet with maths teacher.

These two events exemplify peace keeping lies which can weaken the bond of relationship. Therefore, we always try to avoid telling lies. If it’s very essential, then we can tell lies, otherwise it’s immoral to tell lies because when the lie is caught by someone, its implications are very bad.

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