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Characterization of Ursula Riggs (Feelings)

In the novel “Big Mouth & Ugly Girl” written by Joyce Carol Oates one of the two protagonists is Ursula Riggs. She is a split personality. On the one hand there is ‘Ursula Riggs’ a tall, athletic girl at Rocky River High School that is quite lonely because of her unpopularity among her class mates. This becomes apparent, e.g. when she leaves the gym after the basketball match and nobody says goodbye to her (p.20 ll.10-14). That’s when she is about to lose her way because of feeling depressed or unconfident. For self-protection and forgetting about her doubts, she built up the other part of her personality which Ursula calls Ugly Girl. Ugly Girl is the total opposite of Ursula. She is mentally strong (p.8 ll.1-4) and doesn’t give a damn about others’ opinion. Ursula Riggs loves playing basketball and is the captain of the basketball team at her school. Due to her fantastic basketball skills that Ugly girl is aware of, she is very self-confident when she plays basketball (p.8 ll.9-14). Because of the difference in characteristics there are two different moods that come up at times and show various features of Ursula. The Fiery Red mood is useful for playing basketball, because that’s when she’s energetic, dynamic and in good humor, and likely to be at her best on the court. But there is also the Inky Black mood that consists of all the depression and scruple provoking a really bad temper.
But no matter the vulnerable girl inside, Ursula Riggs is seen as the indifferent Ugly Girl by her school mates and she is segregated by almost everybody.

Jenny, Anna, Christina, Philip, Merle
18.12.08 16:46

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