The Ugly Duckling has all kinds of ugly in the story and each variety of ugly is just as ugly as the next type of ugly. This variety of ugly has a little more hope involved than the ugly words and ugly thoughts addressed in the other ugly essays. The ugly in this ugly essay is about the truth being ugly. There are ugly truths.
Ugly truths are things that exist, but we would rather not know about these things. We would rather not acknowledge that those ugly things are in our world. For you, this ugly truth could be death or disappointment or any number of things. In the world of the farmyard, there were several ugly truths. The animals all knew they might possibly end up as dinner, but no one talked about it. The animals outside the farm knew they were being hunted. Those are fairly serious ugly truths that were skirted around in the story, but one truth, in particular, isn’t ugly for everyone.
The ugly truth of the matter is that sometimes people who don’t seem like they will succeed come out on top. You may not want them to have success in life. You may think they’re awful. You may think they’re ugly, but sometimes, that person, whom you counted for nothing, wins. The flip-side of this is that you may be somewhat successful in your life at a certain point in time, but then your life could deteriorate. No one wants to think as a young person that they’ll end up working in a Wal-Mart for the rest of their life.
These types of truths are ugly because no one is really expecting it. In the back of your mind, you always know the possibility is there, but when it hits you, you’re somewhat astonished. No, really, here you are, working at Wal-Mart. You wanted to be a doctor.
The ugly duckling was bullied and he never thought he would become anything. He ended up being greater than many of the other farm animals. What happened to those farm animals? We don’t know. The story never goes back to them.
Honestly, I love this about The Ugly Duckling. I love how he turns into this beautiful swan from this awkward baby bird. I love it. It’s a story of how we don’t always end up like what people think we are like children or young adults. To me, this is a beautiful thought, but to those people who will never be greater than at an early point in their lives, this is an ugly thought. There are people who are never going to have an apex higher than what they had in high school.
The ugly, ugly part of this is that we don’t know who is going to fall down by the wayside. We don’t know which ones of us will never be greater than our young selves. I love stories like The Ugly Duckling, but it’s also a bit scary because each of the animals has just as much opportunity to end up feeling how the duckling felt at their treatment.
So just remember, if you bully someone and make them feel awful, there is a chance that could be you someday.