Beauty In The Ugly Duckling

1127 Words5 Pages
Niloufahr Sheikhpour
Ms. Fairchild
Folktales
1 April 2014
What is Beauty?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you don’t consider yourself beautiful, do you automatically consider yourself ugly? Being different; does that make you unappealing, and make it uncomfortable? Just because someone has a different look, and is not the same as everyone else, does that make them any less beautiful? The story “The Ugly Duckling” teaches children that just because you’re not someone’s ideal of beauty, it does not make you any less beautiful. The ducklings in the story are symbolic for society, and the swan represents the average woman and man. The last duckling born seems to be the odd one out. The duckling stands out from everyone else; she was teased and segregated from most other ducklings. The story gives you more of an understanding on how society was during that period in history.
The story was first published in 1842; even during that time people had an ideal of beauty, and what it was to be such. Much like today, models, actors, celebrities, etc. make an influence on how most people should look. People strive to obtain the appearance of what they think is beautiful, and look down upon others who do not fall into their certain criteria of beauty. The story presents this poor swan as a victim, in which most people can still relate to. The little swan was bullied, told she was ugly, and was not allowed to play with certain ducks because their parents would not allow it. She was to be by herself, and constantly mocked by everyone around her of difference. Just because she did not have the same appearance she was treated much different (Anderson 1).
In all versions of the folktale, the swan is put down, and constantly depressed, whic...

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...swan going through bullying. Hopefully one day it will come to a stop, and the reader can become independent and rely less on everyone else.
However, going into depth in this folktale, you learn that the psychological abuse this poor swan goes through is unreal. If this were to be a real life situation, this poor swan would have grown up with socialization problems from the trauma caused as a kid. Also the swan never found out it was a swan till it got older, and grew up into a beautiful swan, which is equivalent to adulthood.
The Ugly Duckling teaches children and adults, that no matter how different you are, it does not make you any less beautiful. It gives hope to its readers, and teaches a valid lesson, despite the trauma the poor swan goes through. Still in the end, the swan comes out conquering and independently making it on its own, and being more beautiful.
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