Lucy Grealy

Topics: Beauty, Truth, Happiness Pages: 2 (766 words) Published: December 13, 2010
What is beauty? Beauty, by definition, is, “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit” (Merriam-Webster). Throughout her life, Lucy Grealy struggles with her own definition of beauty. To her, beauty equals happiness. As a cancer patient, she underwent many surgeries which left her with a disfigured face. Since she did not think she was beautiful, she was not happy, or rather, she would not allow herself to be happy. “I didn’t deserve it, and thus I shouldn’t want it. She blames all of her unhappiness and misfortune on the way her face looks, when in reality, she is causing herself to be unhappy by dwelling on the negative aspects of her life. She says, “I again named my own face as the thing that kept me apart, as the tangible element of what was wrong with my life and me.” To Lucy, it is easier to assume that everyone thinks she is ugly and to wallow in self-pity than it is to try to live her life normally, and to try to be happy with herself. Throughout the book, it sometimes seems that Lucy is almost proud of her condition. It gives her a chance to focus on herself very closely. Even when her face is restored to normal for a short period, she is not happy. Something was wrong: was this the face I had waited for through eighteen years and almost thirty operations? I couldn’t make what I saw in the mirror correspond to the person I thought I was. It wasn’t only that I continued to feel ugly; I simply could not conceive of the image as belonging to me. It even seems that she actually enjoys being unhappy to an extent. No matter what happens in Lucy’s life, she always finds a way to be dissatisfied with it, and thus cannot move on towards becoming happy. It is almost selfish of her; she can own her unhappiness, and no one can change that. Not her family, friends, or even cancer. It is something that she can always be sure of ; it is the one stable thing in her...
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