Literature has the power to transport us to other worlds and introduce us to characters who stay with us long after we finish reading their stories. And in Peter S. Beagle’s novel, The Last Unicorn, we meet one such character in the form of Molly Grue. Molly is a woman who undergoes a profound transformation in the course of the story, and in the process, she captures the hearts of readers with her endearing qualities.
At the heart of Molly’s character are three defining qualities – her caring nature, unwavering faithfulness, and hopeful spirit. These qualities are integral to her character and enable her to navigate the challenges she faces throughout the story.
Perhaps the most apparent of Molly’s defining qualities is her caring nature. From the outset of the story, she is introduced as a caretaker who always puts the needs of others before her own. Molly is part of a band of outlaws, and despite their rough and boisterous ways, she serves them with unwavering kindness and never thinks twice about leaving them. Her caring nature is on full display throughout the story, as she shows deep affection for the unicorn and will do anything to protect her. Molly’s tears when Schmendrick goes missing show just how much she cares for him. Whether it’s the men she has been caring for all these years, the unicorn, or Schmendrick, Molly’s caring nature is a shining example of what it means to be a true friend.
Molly’s unwavering faithfulness is another defining characteristic that sets her apart from other characters in the novel. She has been with the band of outlaws for so long that she has picked up some of their bad habits, but her loyalty to them remains unchanged. This unwavering faithfulness is a testament to her strong character and her sense of duty. Even when Schmendrick recounts how he found the group, Molly spits on the ground, a clear sign of her rough exterior, but even Captain Cully, who has known her for years, recognizes her “good heart.” Molly’s faithfulness to the men is truly remarkable and speaks to the power of loyalty and friendship.
Finally, Molly’s hopeful spirit is perhaps her most endearing quality. No matter what obstacles the quest throws her way, she never loses sight of the goal and always remains positive. Her positive outlook is contagious, and her encouragement is a source of strength for those around her. She encourages Schmendrick to believe in himself and to never give up, and it is her unwavering faith in him that helps him save the unicorn. She also encourages Prince Lir to keep going, reminding him that “Lady Amalthea is not won by great deeds.”
Molly’s transformation throughout the course of the story is a testament to the power of love, friendship, and the human spirit. She starts off as a rough and crude woman but evolves into a compassionate and caring person. Her journey shows that people can change and grow, and that true friends are those who remain loyal and caring no matter what. But what makes Molly’s character truly unique is that she defies conventional gender roles in literature. She is a tough and resilient woman who can hold her own in a world dominated by men, challenging the notion that women are weak and helpless. Her presence in The Last Unicorn is a refreshing reminder that strength comes in many forms, and women can be just as strong and capable as men
The character of Molly Grue has inspired many readers, and her impact can be seen in the numerous adaptations of The Last Unicorn. In the 1982 animated film adaptation of the novel, Molly is voiced by actress Tammy Grimes, who brings her character to life with warmth and depth. Molly’s popularity has even spawned fan art and fan fiction, with many readers creating their own stories and illustrations based on her character.
Molly Grue is more than just a character in a book; she is a representation of the best qualities of human nature. Her selflessness, loyalty, and positive attitude serve as an example for readers to follow in their own lives. Molly’s journey from a rough and crude woman to a compassionate and caring person is a reminder that people can change and grow, and that even the toughest exterior can conceal a heart of gold.
Molly’s story resonates with readers of all ages and backgrounds because it is a story of hope and redemption. It reminds us that no matter how flawed or imperfect we may be, we all have the potential to become better versions of ourselves. Molly’s journey is an inspiration to us all, and her character serves as a beacon of hope in a world that can often seem dark and unforgiving.
In the end, Molly Grue is a character who captures our hearts with her transformation and endearing qualities. Her caring nature, unwavering faithfulness, and hopeful spirit make her a valuable member of the quest and a true friend to all. Whether she’s cooking for the men, encouraging Schmendrick, or putting herself in harm’s way to protect the unicorn, Molly Grue is a character we will never forget. In the pages of The Last Unicorn, Molly becomes a beloved character who will stay with us long after we finish the book, reminding us of the power of love, loyalty, and friendship.