Buckley / Ericsson Essay

This essay has a total of 960 words and 4 pages.

Buckley / Ericsson

Buckley / Ericsson
In their essays both Buckley and Ericsson analyze the different ways we use lies to help
and hurt our self in our every day lives, and how this effects American culture. Ericsson
shows the way lies can , as she puts it, " lubricate the daily machinery of living"(128).
Buckley, on the other hand uses examples of lies as a way to deny himself; and do exactly
the opposite of Ericsson. But they both show how we as Americans use lies these ways and
others so much that most of us may not realize it.

Ericsson's essay was obviously about The Ways We Lie, mostly about the way we lie to other
people to make their or your own life easier. Buckley's essay is not so obviously about
lying, but if you read deeper into the text you can see how Buckley makes his life harder
by lying to himself. When Ericsson is describing the white lie; she use the example of a
friend telling another friend she looks good when the truth is she doesn't. This is
exactly how we use lies to lubricate daily living, we avoid confrontation. " The liar
deciding what is best for the lied to" (Ericsson 121). When Buckley describes the amount
of discomfort he endured from the heat on the train, he imagines what would happen to the
conductor in an age of more violence. "The passengers would seize the conductor and strap
him down on a seat over the radiator to share the fate of his patrons" (64). He has strong
feelings toward the conductor, because something has not already been done. When the
conductor approaches Buckley; he has intensions of making the conductor aware of the
problem, but the simple stare of his neighbor drives him to ignore the plain facts. Even
though Buckley notices, "the car was flecked with the white shirts of the passengers"; he
uses the stare as a way to dilute the truth into believing that his idea of turning the
heat down would not be the consensus of the rest of the car (64).

The way lies have become a part of are daily life as Americans, and the way this has
effected our culture is what both Ericsson and Buckley express in their essays. I think
Buckley clearly stated his essay's purpose when he said, " what has happened to the
American people."(65). It is almost as if he is looking for the reader to find the answer,
if they do look they will find it (or at least they will find what Buckley thinks is the
answer). Buckley says that no one did anything in the movie theater when the screen was
out of focus, because, " everyone was expecting someone else to take the
initiative…"(66). This kind of behavior can be seen regularly in American culture. When
we drive past a stopped car on the freeway, and we assume that if they needed our help
they would have waved me down. Someone else will stop. We think to our self, "if there was
an accident I would stop". If we do stop and they did not need are help we would look
stupid for stopping. We think we are to busy to bother, or that is not a big deal. That we
can't make a difference and we are stupid for trying. Buckley nails American's way of
thinking when he said, " We are all increasingly anxious in America to be unobtrusive, we
are reluctant to make our voices heard, hesitant about claiming our rights; we are afraid
that our cause is unjust, or that if it not unjust, that it is ambiguous; or if not even
that, that it is too trivial to justify the horrors of a confrontation with
authority"(66). Ericsson's whole essay showed how lies where used threw out American
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