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We Were Liars

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Emma Tetrault

on 7 May 2015

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Transcript of We Were Liars

Synopsis
Antagonist- Harris Sinclair-Static Character
Harris Sinclair is the grandfather of the novel who owns the private island Beechwood, where the Liars have grown up on. He is seen throughout the book as manipulative, dominant, privileged, disloyal, and a patriarch. Harris uses his money to mislead his family and he knowingly turns Beechwood into a cruel game. The grandfather is discriminatory towards Gat and Gat's uncle Ed due to their color. Harris values his possessions over everything else. It is seen that his values and ideals were passed down to his daughter due to how reliant and manipulative they are to Harris.
Diary
Major Themes
Friendship- The Liars have a true bond while they are together, which creates a significant dynamic for the novel. They lean on eachother and grow up together. Together, they decide they that want to save their family from themselves, and they face the consequences together.

Love- Cadence falls in love with Gat the moment he steps on Beechwood Island when they were both eight. From Summer 8 and on, they continue their relationship. Cadence's mother, Penny insists that Cadence breaks up with Gat so that Cadence can inherit her grandfathers money, due to Harris disliking Gat for his skin color. Cadence continues to confide in Gat even after he is gone, revealing that love is unconditional.

Family- This is a huge theme in the book as most of the characters are family. The true meaning of what a family means is revealed in the book as problems arise and the family is forced to face these conflicts together.

Privilege, Power, and Materialism- Harris has a thirst for power throughout the novel which creates major problems among the family, especially his daughters. It seems that Harris's daughters cannot see through him, but the Liars do. Privilege is a theme that goes hand-in-hand with Power because that was the corrupt Sinclair motto. They believed that with privilege, there was power.
Who should read this book?
Anyone who likes mystery, love stories, and a book that makes one question their own life and beliefs
Someone who likes tragic and dark stories
Someone who enjoys hearing about how our minds play tricks on us, especially the long-term effects of brain injuries
Anyone who is willing to further analyze human nature and who is willing to look deeper and outside of the box




Possible Questions
1. Who are the Liars?
2. Will there be conflict with how the Sinclairs are white while Ed and Gat are not?
3. How did the Sinclairs become so privileged?
4. Why did Cadences Father dislike her grandparents?
5. Did Cadences father actually shoot her?
6. What kind of tragedy could happen to such a perfect-looking family?
7. Why are money and possessions a common subject Cadence talks about?
8. Why does Gat enjoy the book, "Being and Nothingness" so much?
9. Why are the Liars called the Liars?
We Were Liars
Quotable Quotes
“We looked at the sky. So many stars, it seemed like a celebration, a grand, illicit party the galaxy was holding after the humans had been put to bed.”
“I looked at her. my lovely, tall mother with her pretty coil of hair and her hard, bitter mouth. Her veins were never open. Her heart never leapt out to flop helplessly on the lawn. She never melted into puddles. She was normal. Always. At any cost.”
“The knowledge goes from my spine down my shoulders and through my fingertips. It turns them to ice. They chip and break, tiny pieces shattering on the Windemere steps. Cracks splinter up my arms and through my shoulders and the front of my neck. My face is frozen and fractured in a witch’s snarl of grief. My throat is closed. I cannot make a sound.

Here I am frozen, when I deserve to burn.” –
"Do not accept an evil you can change"
"He was ambition and strong coffee."
Time Period and Setting
Symbols
Ivory Statues
-although these are illegal to own, Cadences grandfather is not phased by this. This shows how much of a tyrant and cruel man he was.

This Book...
I love the way the author....
Scene from the book
Songs that explains the book and main characters
Cast for
We Were Liars
Postcard of Beechwood Island
Fortune Cookie
Tuesday, 3:23am, March 21st

I woke up gasping for air. I dreamt that I was on the beach again, staring at the waves. Ashes were floating all around me, but my eyes were fixed on the constant motion of the waves kissing the soft sand. The sky was covered in stars and the night was too beautiful and too perfect to feel so empty. Suddenly, I blinked and the waves slithered up onto my bare legs. My body, was mangled and shivering uncontrollably. I mumbled under my breath as the waves took me with them. All that was left of me were the lines of my fingers in the sand leading to the ocean.


“Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,
then from my eyes,
my ears,
my mouth.
It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the path, the steps of the porch. My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.”
Dreamy, private island
Present day
Beechwood, Massachusetts
Summer 8-17
The wealthy Sinclairs

E.Lockhart
Has rearranged and fixed the
We Were Liars
over 15 times
The events in the book come from her experiences. She states, "Although I don't have selective amnesia, chronic migraines, an private island and fortune waiting for me, I have been heartbroken, desperate, ambitious and angry."
We Were Liars
was inspired by the book, "Wuthering Heights" which exhibits privilege and romance as well. The twist in her book was inspired by the book, " Gone Girl", as she wanted to keep her reader emotionally invested even after the twist
Her childhood summers were spent on Martha's Vineyard (near Beechwood island in the book) which was full of American privilege. Growing up, she would often take the fairy out to the Atlantic and would see private islands and was curious about the lives that were lived on these islands.
She rebelled against
the world herself, just
like the Liars and especially Cadence. She also longed for childhood intimate relationships, just like the Liars had. She wishes she could
be a better person and
have a greater love for
humanity; we can see
these characteristics
in Gat.

This is the third time this week that I have had this dream. My head is pounding and I don't want to think about that night anymore. It haunts me. I can't think about that night
anymore.

-Cadence
-Made me feel SO intrigued, the whole way through-I could barely put the book down half of the time!
-Made my mind whirl and my heart race
-Influenced me to question a lot about myself and the world
-Made me confused, concerned, and mind-boggled about how I didn't comprehend what was happening at times
-Shed light on to what it's like to experience a brain injury
-Sparked a love for the Liars

A experience that is similar to an event in the book...
The book starts off with introducing our main character, Cadence who experiences selective amnesia and headaches due to an accident that she cannot remember, from summer 15. Because of this, Cadence started a project. a project of giving away things of hers that had sentimental value. She describes, "For the old people in my family- Mummy, the aunties, Granddad- the accumulation of beautiful objects is a life goal. Whoever dies with the most stuff wins. Wins
what
? I'd like to know." The reader later learns that Cadence gives away her possessions as apart of a grieving process, even though she consiously doesn't know this.
How I can relate...

As soon as I read this, I immediately empathized with Cadence. I too, have lost someone close to me, and if I ever saw something of theirs lying around my house, I would automatically want it out of my sight, due to the pain it made me feel. I can relate to Cadence in that I knew I wasn't consciously wanting the objects out of my sight because of the person, it was because how the object made me feel in the moment and what memories were affiliated with that object.
Imagine-John Lennon
Wait-M83
The things we lost in the fire-Bastille
This song perfectly summarizes the climax to when the Liars burnt down Clairmont. The lines, "These are the things, the things we lost, the things we lost in the fire", this describes how the Sinclairs not only lost the Clairmont house, but everything in it, including 3 teenagers. This song emphasizes that nothing will be the same again.

This last line, "Flames- they licked the walls. Tenderly they turned to dust everything I adored." This shows how Cadence lost her best friends in the fire.
This song not only speaks to the last moments Cadence shared with Mirren, Johnny, and Gat, but it also can be related to the dark tone of the entire book.
The lines, " Give your tears to the tide" can be mirrored in the book when Cadence was saying goodbye at the shoreline for the last time to the Liars.

"There's no end, there's no goodbye" can be related to how Cadence will always feel sadness and hurt throughout her life, but as the song say, "No Time", there is no time for Cadence to be sad over things that already happened. Johnny, Mirren, and Gat want her to life her life to the fullest, so this is why they "Disappear with the night."
Imagine by John Lennon is dedicated to Gat. Throughout the story, Gat is constantly concerned and passionate about world issues and the people around him. Cadence describes him "Relentlessly interested in the world", "He had a hungry mind, constantly turning things over, looking not for answers, but for understanding." Gat helped Cadence realize that she should learn the names of her housekeepers and encouraged her to see the world in a different light.
Gat- Aquarius
Cadence-Virgo
How is Gat an Aquarius?
"Maybe land shouldn't belong to people at all." -Gat
"Don't accept an evil you can change." -Gat
"I bled on him, and he didn't mind." -Cadence
Favorite book, " Being and Nothingness" by Jean Paul Sartre, published in 1942.
"It's good that you look at the world the way you do." -Cadence

"Someone once wrote that a novel should deliver a series of small astonishments. I get the same things spending an hour with you." -Gat
Throughout the book, Gat is a kind and intelligent individual. He cares so much about the world and everyone in it. He mentions a few times that he went on a volunteer trip to India and that he wanted to change the world.
Virgos are: analysts, practical, reflective, observatory, and thoughtful. They are naturally intuitive. People with this sign are also: compassionate, caring, nurturing and extraordinarily tender-hearted.
Qualities include, honesty, loyalty and highly intelligent. Aquarius's will take up any cause, and are humanitarians of the zodiac. They know this about themselves, and try their best to motivate themselves to action. They are also prone to philosophical thoughts, and are often quite artistic and poetic.
Astrological Signs
How is Cadence a Virgo?
"If you want to live where people are not afraid of mice. You must give up living in palaces."
"Always do what you're afraid to do."
"It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved."
Since Cadence was the narrator of the story, she was constantly explaining her emotions as well as tapping into the minds of others. She analyzed almost everything she did since the accident in an effort to uncover the mystery. After summer 15 she wrote to the Liars several times and mailed sentimental possessions to them, even though she never got a response back. Although she had an extreme brain injury, her thoughtfulness was never lacking, especially after meeting Gat in Summer 8.
Willow Shields-as Cadence
Avan Jogia- as Gat
Jane Levy- as Mirren
Lucas Till-as Johnny
Jeff Bridges- as Harris Sinclair
I believe Willow would be perfect as Cadence because she looks innocent, but she also looks like she has a lot of depth to her, as Cadence does. I imagined Cadence to look a lot like Willow with the classic, blonde "Sinclair look."
"Mirren, she is sugar, curiosity, and rain."
Not only does Jane have the classic "Sinclair look", she also portrays a bubbly and strong personality, which is exactly like Mirren.
"Gat, he was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee."
This is exactly how I pictured Gat while reading "We were Liars." Gat seemed a little nerdy, but he was full of heart. Avan has a kind face that could make any Cadence weak in the knees!
Jeff Bridges has a prestigious and distinctive look to him. He has looks that can be related to the book. He looks like he reeks of entitlement, which is exactly like Harris.
"Dont take no for an answer."
"Always do what you're afraid to do."
"Johnny, he is bounce, effort, and stark."
"Johnny, you would have been a light in the dark for so many people."
Johnny was a quiet character, he never said much, but he was always there. When Johnny did say something, it was important. Lucas looks like he could be Johnny as he has the "Sinclair look" and looks athletic, just like Johnny.
Gat, It's me, Cadence. Grandfather gave me this old postcard from the 70's to when they were drawing up plans for this crazy island of ours. I thought you would appreciate it.
All of my love,
Caddy
124 Hudson St
New York, NY 10013, USA
Memory Scrapbook for Cadence
The items above are all from Summer 17. Gat "gave" Cadence all of these that summer...or it may have been all in Cadences head. Either way, these were all important to Cadence, and helped identify what happened summer 15...
Confucius says: if you think you’re going to sum up your whole life on this little bit of paper, you’re crazy.
This Fortune is for Gat because I think it sounds like his quirky humor. He is always looking for solutions and new perspectives so he knows that one place will not give him the only answer.
You will always be surrounded by true friends
This fortune is for Cadence due to even after Mirren, Johnny, and Gat died, they were still there for her. I believe that even though they physically aren't with her, they will be spiritually with her for the rest of her life. Their mottos and perspectives that they have given Cadence will live on.
For hate is never conquered by hate. Hate is conquered by love .
I think this fortune relates directly to Harris Sinclair. Harris didn't know how to properly love his children and grandchildren, due to his manipulative personality. Love was never something he used in his everyday life, only hatred.
Love is as necessary to human beings as food and shelter.
Mirren knows this very well. Across the ocean Mirren calls to Cadence, "I LOVE YOU CADENCE." Mirren does this because she knows that she will have to leave one day and Mirren wants Cadence to know that she is loved, no matter what.
Keep it simple. The more you say, the less people remember.
This fortune describes Johnny so well. He is a man of few words, but when he does speak, it is important. He is observant and he knows when the right time is to say something.
Answers to the Questions: Part 1
1. The Liars consist of 3 blonde Sinclair cousins named Mirren, Cadence, and Johnny. The last member of the Liars is Gat, who is an outsider.
2. Throughout the story, the Sinclairs have an underlying tone of racism towards Gat's uncle Ed and Gat. " Harris doesn't like Ed's color. He's a racist and so was Tipper."
3. The Sinclairs become rich from their grandfather, Harris. After attending Harvard, Harris grew a fortune. He invests in houses, stock markets, and land. Cadences grandfather shares his wealth with the family, but there are always conditions to receiving his wealth.
4. It is not revealed in the story why Cadence's father dislikes the grandparents, but I believe that Lockhart used this clue at the beginning of the story to reveal the true nature of Cadences grandparents. Harris and Tipper are racist and seek out conflict in their own children by dangling their money in front of their offspring's faces.
5. Cadences father didn't actually shoot her, this is just the writing style of the author which makes it so powerful! This is the quote that make me think what was happening was real:
Answers to Questions: Part 2
For Cady with everything, everything. Gat.
“Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed. Blood gushed rhythmically from my open wound,
then from my eyes,
my ears,
my mouth.
It tasted like salt and failure. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of our house, the bricks of the path, the steps of the porch. My heart spasmed among the peonies like a trout.”
6. This question is a little ignorant, when I look back on it, due to how every family experiences problems. Looking back on why I thought this revealed to me that I truly believed that the Sinclair family was invincible due to how lucky they were. Of course something terrible happens to the family, but in the they learn to overcome it, and their problems, which makes them better people than they were before.
7. Money and possessions are a common subject Cadence talks about because both are so important to the Sinclair family throughout the book. Money causes extreme family issues, while so do possessions.
8. Gat enjoy's
Being and Nothingness
so much because he believes that it reveals truth about humanity. The book is not highlighted or more important than I thought it would be at the beginning of the novel.
9. The title of the book is revealed through small hints in the novel. Especially in Summer 15, the teenagers lie to cover the truth from Cadence. We realize at the end of the book that Cadence is the one living the biggest lie. There is significance that the title is
We
were
Liars
instead of We
are
Liars.
Cadence- The Main Character-Dynamic
The novel begins with Cadence, who suffers from post-traumatic headaches and slight amnesia from Summer 15. Throughout the novel Cadence struggles with family problems as well as her own. Cadence also falls in love with Gat who changes her for the better. Gat is not privileged, unlike Cadence, and he helps her see a new perspective on the world. Throughout the novel, the reader begins to see Cadence change the way she goes about life. Cadence changes how she treats those around her and begins to understand the effects of her actions.

It is important to know that Cadence does not create an identity around Gat. Cadence has much depth to her and Gat only contributes to changing her views. By the end of the novel, Cadence has learned to make her own path through the world.
"Don't take no for an answer."
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
1. This quote from the book was only on the first page, and it really captivated me. The imagery, metaphors, and similies bring this scene to life. The significance of the quote is that Cadence is talking about how it felt when her dad left her and her mom.
2. These lines are taken from the end of the novel. The quote caught my attention due to the detailed descriptions. These are the thoughts Cadence was experiencing after she figured out what happened Summer 15. This quote personally impacted me and I could feel how Cadence felt in that moment.
3. This quote comes directly from Gat. I feel like it describes Gat perfectly as he is constantly determined to find a better way in every situation.
4. This is how Cadence describes Gat throughout the novel. I think this quote is powerful because Cadence doesn't say that he "Has ambition and was like strong coffee", he was actually those things to her. This description creates a powerful image in the readers' mind.
5. I picked this quote not only for its beautiful descriptions, but also for the feelings I get from it. This quote describes parts of the summers growing up on Beechwood. This moment is also a sentimental time for Cadence and Gat as lines later say, "'Can I your hand? The universe is seeming really huge right now," he told me, "I need something to hold on to.""
6. This quote is describes Cadence talking about her mother. It is important because it shows how Cadence has changed and how she is starting to see the true nature of her family, which is extremely influential on how she views her world.
Money
- A major source of conflict between Harris and his daughters. This created many family secrets that tore the family apart. Money is supposed to be used to buy the things one needs, it is not meant to ruin relationships, even though it tends to do that.
Dried Roses from Gat
-Cadence found these flowers during Summer 17. They symbolize how along with the flowers, Cadence and Gat's relationship has withered too.
Beechwood Island
- Symbolizes solitude and secrecy. This is how they can keep their secrets hidden so well. The island helped them mask their true qualities, while also bringing them out.
The fire
- The Liars, burn down Clairmont as a sign of rebellion and resolution. This was supposed to solve all their problems, but it spread their problems quickly, as fire tends to do. The novel reveals later that after a fire, there will always be ashes left over.
Books and Fairy tales
- Cadence used these to escape from reality while also mirroring the events that were happening in her life from the fairy tales she told.
Created character development with Cadence
Expressed a dark and gripping tone to the novel
Shaped a beautiful, but tragic story that will stick with the reader
How well Lockhart crafted the mystery
Had a unique writing style: including metaphors, similes, imagery, personification. She often made several lines into poems
Created the clear mental images of the broken family
Dove into the mind of someone with a brain injury and how well it was displayed
Made its readers truly think and analyze the book and their own lives
Made the reader want to invest in the book
"We burned not a home, but a symbol."
Who shouldn't?
Anyone who isn't crazy about love stories
( I believe that pretty much everyone should read this book!) I believe this because of how impactful and relateable the novel is.
Has a "100 best books list" that he wants to read before he dies
The novel starts off with introducing the wealthy and prestigious Sinclair family. The traditional family is not only privileged, but also owns a private island off the coast of Massachusetts, USA. Our narrator, Cadence is a young adult who suffers with piercing migraines and slight amnesia from an accident that she cannot remember during Summer 15. The Liars are made up of Cadence, Mirren, and Johnny, who are all cousins. Gat, is the last of the Liars, and is an outsider. The four have grown up together on the island, which they return to every summer since they were eight years old. Throughout the thrilling novel, flashbacks and memories from Cadence reveal truths about the summer that changed the family forever. The novel opens a new door to how the characters deceive eachother, those around them, and especially themselves. The twist is captivating, heart-wrenching, and will leave the reader in awe.
We are the Sinclairs.
No one is needy.
No one is wrong.
We live, at least in the summertime, on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
Perhaps that is all that you need to know.
Except that some of us are liars.
Thursday, 10:44am, March 25th
Today I'm heading to Europe with my father, but all I want to do is see Gat...and Mirren...and Johnny. I'd do anything just to see them.
"I took a pen out of his hand-he always read with a pen-and wrote Gat on the back fo his left hand and Candence on the back of his right."
"Being and Nothingness"
"Be a little kinder."
(I am clearly not an artist..)
"Live in today"
Throughout the summers, the Liars write on their hands favorite quotes as well as movies they want to see, and books they want to read. This may be a way to remind them of what they believe in, while also showing that the Sinclairs aren't always perfect and can get a little writing on their hands.
By: E. Lockhart
√“ I plunged down into this ocean, down to the rocky bottom, and all I could see was the base of Beechwood Island and my arms and legs felt numb but my fingers were cold. Slices of seaweed went past as I fell.”
My predictions on the mystery of Summer 15
I thought...
Gat did something hurtful/horrible to Cadence as he left her in the dust after the accident
Gat and Mirren fell for eachother
Cadence was hit on the head due to her family finding her in teh fetal position on the beach in only her underwear
Her grandfather had something to do with teh accident due to his personality
The ending revealed that I was WAY off from my predictions...I didn't see it coming...and it turned out to be amazing.
Closing thoughts on We Were Liars
Although it is said that a student is not supposed to enjoy their book report novel...I thoroughly adored mine. I will remember this book for a long time! Everything about the book was spectacular! I thought it was quite neat that I got to analyze this book so well as I appreciated it much more after doing so!
We Were Liars
is truly sophisticated and makes it's readers think deeply.
"He married Tipper and kept her in the kitchen and garden. He put her on display in pearls and on sailboats."
Full transcript