Englisch, Literatur

The Ugly Duckling for adults

Once upon a time there was a duck that gave birth to five little ducklings. For the mother, each of her children was beautiful and she got compliments about them-except for one. It was grey, small and looked nothing like his brothers and sisters. The other ducks called him ugly and bullied him during his childhood- that’s why everyone called him ‚The ugly duckling‘. As you can imagine, he ran away. He lived at different places and did not realize that he changed over the course of his journeys. Because he was not a duck, he was a swan. When he went back home, everyone was stunned by his beauty and made him compliments. But the ugly duckling did not believe in the compliments and thought they still would make fun of him, like all the years before. This way, he still felt bad about himself, even though there was no reason for it.
This is a version that is more likely to happen with the ugly duckling. I loved fairy tales when I was young and I think that this one was one of my 5634185-largefavorites. It was about me, a small, fat, ugly girl with thick glasses. I wanted to believe that there was hope for me. But I realized that this was all just a dream. Because even though you are beautiful now, it does not change the person you are from the inside. You still look in a mirror and see an ugly person. (I do not say that I have become beautiful!)
This is something I thought about when I read Here’s Looking At You by Mhairi McFarlane (2013). It is a book about Aureliana –aka Anna- who was a fat, ugly girl and got bullied in school. And about James who was one of those that bullied Anna. They meet 16 years after their graduation when Anna has changed to a beautiful woman. They become co-workers, friends and lovers. But the most important part is: He does not recognize her but she does. And this makes the book interesting and made me to buy it. I wanted to know how the past would be overcome. Would it be like in Hollywood with happy ending or the opposite or something in between? Well, it was the first one, of course. I was a little disappointed. There was even a lot of staged coincidences, too, like when they first meet at a school reunion and then later, they magically meet again and have to work together.
But on the other side there was one big difference between most other books or movies: Anna just did not forget and forgives him immediately. They really have a big fight. She tells her story that she wanted to commit suicide because of all the bullying. And she never forgets that she was an ugly duckling what did not change because she is beautiful now. Her wounds remain scars. And this is something everyone should never forget: If you bully someone, you can apologize and maybe you will be forgiven. But when you were treated like dirt for years, you will never get rid of your scars.


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