“A human being is a part of a whole, called by us “universe”, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ~Albert Einstein
The group of friends begin the story in their own ‘optical delusions of consciousness’, some of them not even having much affection for those closest to them, for example Casey with her bitterness towards Annabelle and Joel with his feelings of inferiority around Simon. As the story unfolds and secrets are revealed, they are all forced to learn empathy and listen to each other.
It also encompasses the idea of Buddhism that Chloe adheres to in her attitude towards people and all creatures in general. She is a strict vegan and one trait that Joel and Simon always dig at her for is her ‘naivety’ that everyone in the world is good. Lee agrees with her as he believes in what he has learned through his art therapy course; people are not born ‘evil’, it is circumstances and external factors that cause people to do bad things.