Moloka’i is a juxtaposition of amazing beauty and incredible ugliness. It’s set in Hawaii, which, if you’ve ever been there, or if you have seen photos or postcards of Hawaii, you know is a truly beautiful place. Lovely beaches, wonderfully warm weather, lots of those big, colorful, flowers that everyone likes so much. It’s a paradise!
The ugliness appears in regards to the disease of leprosy. Obviously, people who are suffering from leprosy become horribly disfigured, in ways that can be disturbing to see. The true ugliness in this story, however, appears when some of the physically healthy characters discover that someone among them is a leper.