Table of contents

Style of language

The language in the short story “The Lie” by Raymond Carver is neutral. The author mixes informal words such as “bitch” with old-fashioned words used mainly in the 19th Century.

‘She’s a bitch, is what she is! You don’t think a friend, however poor a friend, even a chance acquaintance, would tell a thing like that, such an outright lie, do you? You simply can’t believe it.’ She shook her head at my folly. Then she unpinned her hat, 

It should be noted that the old words are used by the narrator, who is also the main character. Throughout the story, it is revealed that he is keen on the works of Leo Tolstoy and also takes great value in his philosophy, so the use of such words in an everyday setting could make him a bit pretentious.

The language is also conversational most o...

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