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Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer

            "Everything is Illuminated," by Jonathan Safran Foer, was published in 2002 and is still on many bestseller lists. Foer was born in Washington D.C. in 1977. Foer's grandfather, Louis Foer, was a holocaust survivor. Foer never thought about having a career in writing, but was inspired to become a writer by one of his professors, Joyce Carol Oates, at Princeton University.
             "Everything is Illuminated" was Foer's first novel and was named book of the year by The Los Angeles Times in 2003. Additionally, the novel won the 2002 National Jewish book award and the Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year award. The novel is about a Jewish hero from America named Jonathan who has a desire to find out the truth about his family's history. Jonathan sets out on a quest to the Ukraine in order to find Augustine, the woman who saved his grandfathers life from the Nazis. Jonathan hires a travel agency named Heritage Touring to assist him on his quest. Heritage Touring provides Jonathan with a translator, Alex, and Alex's grandfather who is the guide and driver. Alex routinely butchers the English language. This essay explains the importance of dishonesty in Foer's novel.
             The first person to lie in the novel is Alex. In fact, he lies on the very first page. Alex is self-conscious and cares way too much about what people think about him. Alex lies about the amount of girls that he has been carnal with and what they dub him. He also lies about decimating large amounts of currency in famous nightclubs. Alex feels the need to make up these lies for many different reasons. When Alex tells them to his father, his father is impressed and so proud of him. When Alex tells his father that he is going to nightclubs, he actually goes to the beach (Foer 215). Alex feels obligated to be a role model for Little Igor. He lies to Little Igor because he wants Igor to see him as a cool older brother and to boast about him to his friends (Foer 144).

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