Who’s in Control in Victory Lap?

While many view Victory Lap as a triumph over control and the influence held by those who are present in one’s life, its ending portrays a different narrative. Weeks after the main events of the story take place, Alison is found to be having nightmares about what she went through, and Kyle’s role in what happened. She recounts how she had a chance to stop Kyle from killing the attacker and did nothing, only to be reassured by her parents that she was remembering incorrectly. This creates two possibilities for the ending as it’s unknown how truthful her parents are being. The possibility of her parents lying about the events to her, in an attempt to reprogram her memory, fits with some of the control and manipulation that is commonly shown by all of the characters’ parents. Earlier in the book Kyle states how Alison’s parents created a perfect world for her to live in, and have kept her sheltered. Now this denial can be seen as an attempt to shelter her emotionally by protecting her from the traumatic event. Due to the evidential manipulation in the earlier parts of the story, it should be seen as more likely that this is the true ending. This demonstrates that even while some freedom may be gained, the remnants of control never truly dissolve.

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