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On the Face of It
By- Susan Hill
Main Characters of the Story
Derry: Deny is a fourteen-year-old boy who is disfigured and ugly because half of his face was burnt due to Spilling of acid on one side of his face. He is conscious of the fact that his ugliness is revolting to others and so, everybody wants to ignore him or pity him. He suffers from inferiority complex. He becomes too arrogant and usually avoids any social interaction. He heard people using nasty comments about him and so bears a grudge towards the entire society.
He suspects everyone and lacks trust. Derry started listening to Mr Lamb because Mr Lamb was also handicapped. It is only when Mr Lamb bestowed on his love, trust and generosity that his mindset started changing. Due to the wise words of Mr Lamb, Deny transformed completely.
Mr Lamb: Mr Lamb is an old man who lives alone in a big house with a big lawn. He is handicapped, having lost his leg in a bomb explosion during the war. He is very optimistic. His openness is reflected through the open doors and windows of his house. He makes toffees, jam and jelly to attract people. He grows crab apples. He is never perturbed at being called ‘Lamey Lamb’.
Mr Lamb accepted his handicap in a very matured manner. He is a great motivator and encourages Deny to look at everything in a positive way. He is a patient listener and holds a positive attitude towards life. He fills Derry with confidence. He has a great love for life and believes that we should not fritter away our lives aimlessly. Mr Lamb is instrumental in changing the attitude of Deny towards his handicap and, finally, accepting it as part of life.