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Living In Lucy's Universe Essay

1054 words - 5 pages

George Keats once wrote, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know" (Keats). The last lines of Keats's poem, while criticized by T.S. Eliot, were held in high regards by Lucy Grealy due to the fact that she related personally to the motif of interchangeable truth and beauty since she struggled with her own individual identity as shown in Ann Patchett's memoir, Truth and Beauty. The memoir, which details the friendship of Grealy and Patchett, provides an insight into the characters of both Patchett and Grealy in order to contrast the character of Grealy, which is egotistical, impulsive, and daring, with that of Patchett, which is selfless, faithful, and reliable. As the memoir progresses, Patchett and Grealy's friendship deepens and evolves into a symbiotic relationship where both are mutually dependant on the other and function best when they are together. Even as Grealy dances with death and commits herself to a detrimental relationship with heroin, Patchett attempts to stay by her side until she can no longer accept Grealy's self-destructive tendencies. Patchett is able to effectively portray a friendship wrought with despair, happiness, unwavering loyalty, and omnipresent affection through the usage of meaningful metaphors, poignant juxtaposition, insightful dialogue, primary sources, and a ruminative tone to an audience comprised primarily of young adults.
In the memoir, Truth and Beauty, Patchett utilizes both a reflective tone as well as evocative metaphors to create a portrait of a resilient friendship composed of both loyalty and devotion as well as to characterize Grealy as self-centered, courageous, and fickle and Patchett as Grealy's antithesis. Patchett's continuous usage of illustrative metaphors along with a meditative tone allow her to convey both the profligate character of Grealy as well as her own sagacious character to the audience by utilizing comparisons to ideas and images that the audience can relate to. When the author wistfully sighs, "...a worried mother sending her daughter off to the prom with three dates" she implies that she was the responsible, motherly figure in Grealy's life and further characterizes herself as astute while simultaneously characterizing Grealy as child-like and impulsive to demonstrate their symbiotic mother-daughter relationship as well as to emphasize and celebrate their meaningful, though at times, tumultuous friendship (page 35). Patchett also couples insightful similes with a meditative tone to provide the audience with a glimpse into the personal lives of both Patchett and Grealy while simultaneously demonstrating to the audience the deep and meaningful bond that the two women share. When the author joyfully says, "her arms looped around my neck like a happy bride" she further characters herself as the dependable one in the relationship and Lucy as the capricious one while concurrently illustrating their friendship as almost romantic in the...

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