Vonnegut's Philosophy on Endowed Ugliness

From Kurt Vonnegut’s “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater” (1965):

Her name was Diana Moon Glampers. No one had ever loved her. There was no reason why anyone should. She was ugly, stupid, and boring. On the rare occasions when she had to introduce herself, she always said her full name, and followed that with the mystifying equation that had thrust her into life so pointlessly: “My mother was a Moon. My father was a Glampers.”

“Dumb old woman—sixty-eight years old.”

“Sixty-eight is a wonderful age.”

“Sixty-eight years is a long time for a body to live without having one nice thing ever happen to the body. Nothing nice ever happened to me. How could it? I was behind the door when the good Lord passed out the brains.”

“That is not true!”

“I was behind the door when the good Lord passed out the strong, beautiful bodies. Even when I was young, I couldn’t run fast, couldn’t jump. I have never felt real good—not once. I have had gas and swole ankles and kiddley pains since I was a baby. And I was behind the door when the good Lord passed out the money and the good luck, too. And when I got nerve enough to come out from behind the door and whisper, ‘Lord, Lord—dear, sweet Lord—here’s little old me—’ wasn’t one nice thing left. He had to give me an old potato for a nose. He had to give me hair like steel wool, and had to give me a voice like a bullfrog.”

“It isn’t a bullfrog voice at all, Diana. It’s a lovely voice.”

“Bullfrog voice,” she insisted. “There was this bullfrog up there in Heaven, Mr. Rosewater. The good Lord was going to send it down to this sad world to be born, but that old bullfrog was smart. ‘Sweet Lord,’ that smart old bullfrog said, ‘if it’s all the same to you, Sweet Lord, I’d just as soon not be born. It don’t look like much fun for a frog down there’. So the Lord let that bullfrog hop around in Heaven up there, where nobody’d use it for bait or eat its legs, and the Lord gave me that bullfrog’s voice.”

“I should have said what that bullfrog said! This ain’t such a hot world for Diana Moon Glamperses, neither!”