Let Smile

Smile! Confessions of a Fiitness!


on November 24, 2013

Autobiography of a Face

Lucy Grealy tells a story like no other, she describes her experience through a different perspective of unbearable pain. That takes pain to a whole new level as loneliness, confusion, and questioning that bring the means from being lost to her family. Grealy did not show feelings of fear to her parents. She was afraid the future but  she knows that the present matters the most. Overall Grealy’s story tells about the fear of death with courage and anguish.

“I was accorded a certain amount of respect in my neighborhood, not only because I once jumped out of a second-story window, but also because I would kiss an old and particularly smelly neighborhood dog on the lips whenever asked. I was a tomboy par excellence.” (15)

“Or perhaps that knock set in motion a chain of physical events that created an opportunity for the cancer to grow which it might not otherwise have found. Sometimes it is as difficult to know what the past holds as it is to know the future, just as an answer to a riddle seems so obvious once it is revealed, it seems curious to me now that I passed through all those early moments with no idea of their weight.” (28)

“It wasn’t without a certain amount of shame that I took this kind of emotional comfort from surgery: after all, it was a bad thing to have and operation, wasn’t it? Was there something wrong with me that I should find such comfort in being taken care of so? Did it mean I liked having operation and thus that I deserved them?” (145)

“I decide that it was my very ugliness that allowed me to access to this other beauty. My face may have closed the door on love and beauty in their fleeting states, but didn’t my face also open up to perception I might otherwise be blind to” (150)

“Beauty, as defined by society at large, seemed to be only about who was best at looking like everyone else.” (178)

“It was true I hated it and saw it as the cause of my isolation, but I interpreted it as some kind of lesson. I had taught myself and reincarnation, how the soul pick its various lives with the intent of learning more and more about itself so that it may eventually break free of the cycle of karma. Why had my soul chosen this particular life, I ask myself; what was here to learn from a face as mine.” (180)

Favorite Quotes

“It was easily to slip back into my depression and blame my face for everything.” (127)
– I feel Grealy is showing her outlook towards her life and condition. She is constantly trying to look perfect, or strive toward perfection in everything she does  however, she always  gives up in the end. She blames her outlook on the appearance of her face and the condition of her life.

“It was ugly, so people were going to make fun of me: I thought it was their right to do so simply because I was so ugly, so I’d just better get used to it.” (145)
– This is a good example of Grealy as shows the low self-esteem Grealy had in school.  She says that she observes that people make fun of her, which makes her depressed about her face. Grealy complains to herself that she is ugly, an imperfect person and thinks that she will never be able to think of  herself as beautiful.


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