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In Wally Lamb's novel She's Come Undone, the character of Dolores Price is a woman whose life is full of obstacles and tribulations. She is a victim of several circumstances: She is a rape victim, the daughter of a woman who is mentally ill, of a father who abandons the family. Along with fluctuations in her weight, her sexual preferences, and her goals for life, she basically loses the perspective of things.
Mr. Pucci is Dolores's guidance counselor when she attends high school. Years later, we find Mr. Pucci and Dolores still treating each other as "pals". This time, however, Mr. Pucci (who is openly gay), becomes ill with the AIDS virus and the relationship between he and Dolores becomes more profound and heart-felt. It is because he is on the verge of death that he is able to open up to Dolores and offer her advice on life.
In Dolores's own words:
What made him most anxious, he told me, was not the big questions--the mercilessness of fate, the possibility of heaven. He was too exhausted, he said, to wrestle with those. But he'd become impatient with the way people wasted their lives, squandered their chances like paychecks.
Therefore, Mr. Pucci teaches Dolores how to enjoy and live life in a way that the things that are meaningful are the only things that should matter. He does this with charm, frankness, kindness, and pure sincerity. He gives Dolores a legacy of happiness. This is what makes all the difference in her life.
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