Truth and Beauty Essay
Ann Patchett’s Truth and Beauty can most simply be summed up as the life of Lucy Grealy and her lasting impact on people. Patchett writes from a colloquial sidelines point of view meaning Grealy is depicted as a type person who is like an unyielding force. She was a force that gained momentum as it swept up more followers and Patchett became subject to this overpowering presence that Lucy effused. Patchett uses letters from Grealy to explore a part of this invisible attraction which Grealy seemed to radiate. The message derived from Patchett’s book is summarily this: Lucy Grealy was a unique woman with exceptional talents with her own set of qualities that made her different. One aspect that Patchett dwells on is Lucy’s tenacity. Throughout the book Patchett writes often about how Lucy had a certain trait about her. She was never shy and apt to make at least good acquaintances with the people she met. Patchett recounts how Lucy would have never acted the way she herself did while confronted by loneliness at a Fellowship in Cape Cod: Lucy would have banged on every door. She would have led all twenty writers and visual artists down Commercial Street in a conga line to the Governor Bradford and talked the bartender into buying every last one of them a drink. (80) Patchett may have exaggerated what would happen but the point is quite clear. Lucy had a spontaneous nature to her and it only further serves to contrast Ann’s. The reflection about Lucy above was irrelevant to the plot. The rhetorical question would be why Patchett mentioned what Lucy would do in her position. Patchett discusses the hypothetical situation to illustrate an image which had been present earlier in the book; Lucy had unique characteristics and spontaneity was one of them.
An important observation that is made about Truth and Beauty is that the author rarely discusses her own personal life experiences. Instead, Patchett is more often describing how Lucy...
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