Lorrie Moore’s “You’re Ugly. Too” . examines the interior ideas and daily life of a individual history professor. Zoe Hendricks. Zoe is characterized as being bizarre and wildly different from those around her. and in bend. socially awkward. Through her train of idea. we are able to see that Zoe is preoccupied with her ain defects. both in her visual aspect and in her societal relationships. Moore’s pick to put her narrative in the conventional and homogeneous American Midwest serves to demo the blunt contrast between Zoe and those around her. This contrast leads to Zoe’s disaffection. which is merely exacerbated by her relationships with work forces. In all of Zoe’s experiences with work forces she is put down and is made to experience inferior about her visual aspect and personality. Through Zoe’s memories and ideas we are shown the consequence that these experiences have had on her mind. Through the reactions of her pupils and her failed relationships with work forces. we see Zoe is so invariably criticized about her actions and visual aspect that it makes her leery and unable to pass on with others. By demoing us Zoe’s ideas and watercourse of consciousness. Moore shows us the extent to which society’s reviews and outlooks of us can convey us down. Zoe Teachs in a private broad humanistic disciplines college in the Midwest. This location serves to stress Zoe’s eccentricities. The Midwest is known for its deficiency of diverseness. conformance and conservative values. This homogeneous country is so drastically different from Zoe’s characteristics and personality that she is invariably at odds with it. “Everyone was so light-haired there that brunette’s were frequently presumed to be from foreign countries” ( Moore. 69 ) . Peoples who look different are viewed as foreign and judged. Everyone was expected to look the same and conform to the area’s criterions. Apart from merely her visual aspect Zoe stands out from the general population in her disposition and personality. In the Midwest. people are expected non to oppugn anything and non kick.
Zoe is characterized as being outspoken. opinionated. and sarcastic. Her pupils are so fresh to hearing a dissentient voice that they are shocked by her instruction. In her pupil ratings she is denigrated in their remarks about her. “‘Professor Hendricks has said critical things about Fawn Hall. the Catholic faith. and the whole province of Illinois. It is incredible. ’” ( 71 ) . The pupils are disturbed by Zoe’s unfavorable judgments because they have been taught to blindly accept what they have been told. Their remarks besides criticize her bizarre personality and they frequently write her off and disrespect her. Throughout the narrative these remarks appear in Zoe’s train of idea. demoing how personally she takes them and how affected she is by their unfavorable judgments. Among all the unfavorable judgments that Zoe endures. the 1 that shows her exposure and lower status most is her visual aspect. She is judged for her visual aspect on a regular basis. “She was about reasonably. but her face showed the strain and aspiration of ever holding been near but non rather. ” ( 68 ) . Throughout her life she has been made to experience that she would ne’er be good plenty. no affair how difficult she tried. She tries to repair her expressions with make-up and accoutrements. but it merely ends up doing her characteristics worse. Zoe’s preoccupations with her visual aspect surface whenever she is experiencing most insecure.
This insecurity is represented by the hair that she finds on her mentum. Whenever Earl asks her a inquiry about something she is abashed or sensitive about. she becomes cognizant of the hair. She becomes haunted with taking the hair. even to the point where she hurts herself. “She stabbed once more at her mentum. and it started to shed blood a small. She pulled the tegument tight along the lower jaw. gripped the pincers hard around what she hoped was the hair and tugged. A bantam square of tegument came off with it. but the hair remained. blood bright at the root of it. ” ( 88 ) . No affair how difficult Zoe tried to take the hair she could non. This battle symbolizes how no affair how difficult Zoe tried to change her visual aspect with do up and jewellery she could non. No affair how difficult she would seek to allow her appearance non bother her she could non. Her visual aspect is another thing that makes her stand out from the mean people. In the Midwest she is thought of as foreign because of her expressions and at the party she stands out from the crowd of “sexy witches” . Zoe’s insecurities about her differences and visual aspect have a profound representation in her head. Her insecurities are frequently exacerbated by her relationships with work forces. who frequently criticize her visual aspect and do her feel inferior.
Zoe’s past experiences with work forces have all ended with her being undermined. criticized and disrespected. Because of these failures. she has resigned herself to believe that all relationships will stop ill for her. When being introduced to new work forces. Zoe would frequently happen herself thought of everything that could travel incorrect in their relationship. “As the adult male courteously blathered on. she would fall in love. marry. so happen herself in a acrimonious detention conflict with him for the childs and trusting for rapprochement. so that despite all his treacheries she might no longer contemn him. and in the few proceedingss staying. learn. possibly what his last name was and what he did for a life. though at that place likely there was already excessively much history between them” ( 83 ) Zoe is so positive that there is no hope for her romantically. she writes it off and conceive of how the relationship would fall apart before it even begins. When asked about her sentiment on love. Zoe farther shows her hopelessness by stating her “love story” about her friend. Her friend’s relationship started off good. but shortly after her spouse began minimizing her and doing belittling comments towards her until. eventually. she killed herself. The relationship depicted in this narrative closely mirrors many of Zoe’s ain relationships. In Zoe’s asides about her former relationships she reveals how she was chastised and talked down to for her behaviour.
Again. Zoe’s insecurities about her visual aspect show up as being intensified by the work forces in her life. Zoe is more cognizant of her differences when speaking to work forces. She becomes self-aware about the fact that she does non look like other adult females. “Deep down she came excessively realize that all work forces. deep down. wanted Heidi. Heidi with the cleavage. Heidi with the outfits” ( 72 ) . She recognizes that it is non merely her visual aspect. but besides her personality. She realizes she will ne’er be like the “Heidi” that work forces are interested in. Still though. she feels inferior when work forces tell her what she should make to alter her visual aspect. In one of her relationships in peculiar. Murray disrespects her by traveling out with adult females he found attractive and chat uping with them in forepart of her. “Usually the married womans would accept to chat up with him. Under the tabular array sometimes there was footsie. and one time there was even kneesie” ( 73 ) .
This served non merely to do Zoe experience uncomfortable. but besides to do her ego witting about her visual aspect. It is after her assurance has been knocked down. that Zoe begins to demo her societal incapableness. This shows that her rejection from work forces is a cause of her disaffection and societal jobs. Moore pigments Zoe as an foreigner whose eccentricities cause her societal failures. By stating the narrative from inside Zoe’s caput we are able to to the full understand her interactions and the causes for her behaviours. Her watercourse of consciousness helps to exemplify Zoe’s mental province and feelings of insufficiency. The remarks from her pupils and her relationship narratives address how Zoe is judged and put down. The judgement that Zoe receives for being vocal and unnatural is merely made worse by her location in the conservative Midwest. She stands out because she looks and acts different from normal people. The changeless unfavorable judgments and suggestions of what she should to make better her visual aspect weigh on her and convey her assurance down. She in bend is unable to work socially and is preoccupied with her defects and failures.