"Montana 1948" And "Icarus"-- Public Lies

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade October 2001

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Society has many quirks, which are amplified when individual cases are examined. People's lives have many hidden facets, not seen by the rest of the community, often purposely hidden. While this may be done in order to make an individual or family seem more "presentable" to the rest of the population, these "public lies," as they are called by David Huddle, perpetuate even more, until almost everyone has some sort of hidden aspect of their life. Not everyone is as perfect as they make it seem, but because they make themselves seem faultless, they make others feel inadequate and be self conscious about their faults. More defects are then covered up, leading to more dishonesty in society.

In the novel Montana 1948 by Larry Watson, the life of a seemingly perfect family is thrown into chaos by the actions of a family member. David Hayden, the main character of the novel, is forced to grow up within a very short amount of time, when his uncle, Frank, is accused of molesting the local Native American girls, while giving them medical examinations.

The accusations are not made public, but to Frank's brother Wesley""David's father""who is the sheriff of the small town in which the family resides. Family loyalties are thrown askew as Wesley must decide how to deal with these accusations against his brother, as he is the law and must either act accordingly or decide to protect Frank and the family's reputation.

Wesley ultimately ends up arresting his brother, which he justifies in his own mind as the morally right thing. But Wesley and Franks father Julian becomes enraged at the fact that Wesley has done this, and insists that Frank be let go. He favors Frank, and thinks that Wesley may be making the...

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