MIRRORINGS BY LUCY GREALY
Lucy Grealy ‘s Mirrorings ‘ is a story of a woman who experienced great physical and mental suffering for over twenty years of her life Aged nine. Lucy was diagnosed as having facial bone cancer and surgeons removed most of the right side of her jaw. Later she had to undergo many surgeries and intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatments which lasted for a couple of years. As an adult. she underwent numerous reconstructive operations to fix her face. Despite so much physical suffering and strain. all these operations proved
to be of no avail
The large majority of people that we are used to seeing around us have more or less regular features and (at least apparently ) sound bodies Although we may not be aware of this. the idea that most people should have relatively similar appearances seems to be firmly rooted at a subconscious level in our mind. When we see a person for the first time we usually form our attitude towards them according to their appearance On the one hand. if a person ‘s appearance is rather irregular. that is to say. if it is not like that of the majority of other people. this person is usually tolerated but not fully accepted by others. On the other hand. being a part of the human society. such a person shares the same social prejudice about their appearance and understands that they can ‘t enjoy the status of normal ‘ people. The very fact of understanding this makes their existence unhappy and unbearable to them and they do their best to become normal ‘ as many others are. Lucy Grealy ‘s story is a good example of this
As it is known. most children and teenagers often taunt their peers with remarks about any physical imperfection they have.
They rarely appreciate another person ‘s spiritual characteristics and appearance is very important when they form their opinion about others. When it comes to adulthood. most civilized people feel pity and sympathy for the disfigured or the disabled. They pretend to understand that somebody ‘s appearance is not the most important thing in life after all and they learn to appreciate spiritual qualities other people possess. However there are many disabled or disfigured people in our society who. for example. can never start a family or have
normal love affairs with other people because of their unattractive physical appearance. This is a clear sign that appearance is a strong barrier that prevents us from treating physically imperfect people in the same way we treat normal people. If we follow closely Lucy ‘s story we can see that starting from her childhood. she had difficulty in being accepted by the outside world because of her disfigured face. However the more she grew up the less strong was Lucy ‘s intolerance by others As a child. she was indeed rejected by her peers in a brutal and cruel way. Taunts. mockeries. and insults pursued her every time she appeared.
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