Adventure, Disappointment, and Love
In the short story The Ugliest Pilgrim, Violet defines herself as being a self conscience, determined, spiritual middle aged woman on a mission. The story unfolds as Violet travels, from her mountain top home, on a bus to Oklahoma. While on the trip she learns some very important lessons as well as people. Despite some of her most apparent characteristics in the story the people she meets on the trip will help her overcome some of the things she has been missing all her life.
Throughout the story, the fact that Violet is self conscience of herself is clearly shown by her actions and as well as her thoughts. Violet is mostly conflicted with her facial appearance which can be conceived with her statement “Whoever it was, he won’t look back. People in Spruce Pine don’t like to look at me, full face” (Betts 36).
Later in the story the reader learns that as a child she suffered a tragic accident involving an axe cutting her face leaving a large scar. You can tell she is embarrassed by her looks because even as a middle aged woman she does not look people in the eyes and tries to sit at angles where the entire scar is not visible. The most unique element of her appearance issue, in the story, is her composition book. Throughout the story, Violet is very observant and records, in her notebook, every physical feature of the people she comes in contact with in hope to find a perfect combination of features that will achieve the level of beauty she desires. Violet later finds out that outward beauty is not what makes people like you but it’s the beauty within.
... effect might be negatively impacting our society. By comparing people to media created images of perfection, our perception of ... solo" (Levine 41). Moreover, the contrast effect is impacting people's happiness by unconsciously forcing them to make comparisons between ... assaulted by beauty. We see it everyday in magazines, on television, on billboards, everywhere we turn we see beautiful people-almost ...
As Violet begins her journey the thing that stands out the most about her is her determination. She had a plan to take a trip cross country to become beautiful. She worked hard as she states “ …the bus looks over the valley and its thickety woods where I pulled armloads of galax, fern, laurel, and hemlock to have spending money”(Betts 38), to be able to take this trip to Tulsa. Even learning and memorizing scripture to praise God for his miracle and to convince herself it was possible, showed her true desire for beauty. Violet had seen a preacher on TV that claimed if you could pay he could heal you just as the prophets in the Bible. The willingness and determination to praise God for all the events that happened in her life is truly touching and used to teach the reader of the story.
As the story progresses the evidence that Violet is a religious, faith filled person is strong and convincing. Violet is first introduced to the reader writing in her composition book, which had “GLORIFY GOD AND ENJOY HIM FOREVER” (Betts 37) on the top of every page. The fact that Violet is constantly observing the beauty of nature and appreciating it shows her knowledge of its creator. Violet’s frequent reference and citing of scripture shows she is a religious person. However, most of her scripture is related to healing. One may think that instead of believing and having faith in the Lord to heal her, she is rehearsed to prove herself. As the story unfolds and Violet realizes the Preacher is a fake, her true faith emerges. She believes and praises the Lord even when the outcome is not the one she wanted. She had faith and he rewarded her, not with outward beauty but with someone that likes her inner most beauty.
Violet a middle aged woman, self conscience about her appearance, set out on a trip determined to come back a changed woman. As the trip to Tulsa tried and tested her faith she found out that she did not have the power to change her appearance but the way she let it affect her. While on her adventure she realized the true meaning of friendship and why she wanted beauty in the beginning. She had people see her true colors the observant, outspoken, down to earth girl; not the mask she thought she wore. Through her trip was supposed to be an adventure and a mission to result in beauty it ended in real natural love.
... all around there is general negativity about racism and that true liberation from the perceived injustices lies in trusting other people ... the transformation that happens to Seeger happens after realizing that true fight for prejudice starts when one is able to trust ... The story ‘Act of Faith’ is one of the short stories in Irwin Shaw’s ...