You Re Ugly Too Analysis

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One of the themes that is conveyed by Lorrie Moore in the short story “You’re Ugly, Too” is that it is much easier to focus on small, easily fixable problems rather than big, seemingly insurmountable problems. We see the development of this theme by the main character, Zoe, having an ultrasound for a growth found in her abdomen. She does not tell anyone about this growth, and even tells the ultrasound technician that she will not be able to answer the phone later in the afternoon when her doctor gets the radiologist report. She instead says that she will be out of town. (371) When this is compared to her actions later, while she is at a Halloween party at her sister’s house, she notices a hair on her chin. Rather than ignoring it, she becomes…show more content…
While Zoe leaves her ultrasound appointment, she recalls a joke that she finds hilarious. The joke is about a man who goes to the doctor and is told he has six weeks to live. Horrified, the man tell the doctor he wants a second opinion. The doctor then states, “You’re ugly, too.” (372) A possible reason that Zoe finds this joke so amusing is that she herself is considered almost pretty. (365) She might see herself as the man in the story, who when asking for a second opinion gets told that he is ugly instead of getting any actual advice. Perhaps since she is not beautiful, every time she asks for advice she is dismissed. Zoe also likes jokes that are predictable and funny. (376) This could be because one can guess the outcome, whereas in life one cannot. She cannot predict the outcome of her ultrasound and instead must wait for results, which she puts off for even longer. Life is not the same as a simple joke. It does not always have a beginning, middle, and an ending that makes everyone laugh. Sometimes life just has a beginning and an end. Sometimes the end is tragic and awful. I think that Zoe is aware of this, and this is one of the reasons that she loves jokes so much. They are predictable and safe, much like her life turned out to be. Jokes are sometimes disappointing, which is how Zoe feels about her current
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