Jane Martin is called the best known unknown playwright as she has written many excellent plays but no one has ever seen her. Her play Beauty is tremendously popular nowadays. It tells about the two girls Bethany and Carla who were not satisfied with their lives and wished to change them for better.
The main problem addressed in the play is people’s desire to have things they do not have. It is about jealousy, life disappointment and discontent. Beauty raises issues that as a rule are not favorites of discussion. The personalities of the main characters are developed by the dialogue throughout the whole play. It is interesting to watch the play because the characters are bright and distinct. It becomes clear that the author appeals to people’s thinking and feelings.
There is Carla - a beautiful girl with great appearance. As one can guess, she is the center of everyone’s attention, men’s in particular. People stare and men flock because of her beauty. She seems to be a model with the lack of brains. Absence of the personality bothers and frustrates Carla as she wants to be smart. She understands the importance of being keen as she sees that such people have more life opportunities. It is necessary for her to know that people around not just see her as a beautiful girl that has good physics, but they also respect her for what she is.
Another girl’s name is Bethany. She is very intelligent and sensible. She works hard and gets big amount of money having a job of an accountant in a great company. She also publishes short stories. She thinks that she is not beautiful at all and this thing hinders her to sleep well. She cannot see any disadvantage in being attractive and pretty. Bethany defines beauty as a real deal because she thinks that parents treat beautiful children better, study shows that their income comes up, beautiful people can have sex whenever they want, hence becoming beautiful becomes her desire number one.
The play starts with the conversation between these two girls in which Bethany tells Carla that she has found the genie on the beach. She also says that the genie promised to fulfill three of her wishes and she has already used two of them to test if the genie has told the truth. The dialogue between Carla and Bethany describes the girls’ life situations. Each of them is successful in different life spheres but they cannot see it because jealousy makes them blind. When Bethany admits that she wants to be beautiful like Carla the atmosphere gets cold and delicate. The author uses the words in the characters’ lines to challenge the viewer. Firstly, the one can feel sorry for Bethany and her problem of being unsightly and secondly one can agree with Carla saying that beauty sometimes is not helping.
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Carla’s character has an appointment with Ralph Loren and she hurries up Bethany’s story about the beach walk. She notices that this appointment is very important as she can become a big model and start a new life, but it can happen only because of her pretty face and not because people appreciate her as a person. Instead of listening, Bethany finds thousands of reasons to continually desire beauty. She emphasizes that beauty is wishful for every person in the world, in every street and in every room. Watching such play sometimes may force one to stand and shout that beauty is not an issue to start arguing about. Martin’s manner of writing is exciting for people who like to observe the illustrative models of the philosophical problems that occur in many life situations but have not been discussed yet.
Nevertheless, the longing to know what will happen in the end holds the whole play. After Bethany wished for 25 thousand dollars and they rained from the sky and after she asked for her uncle to be healed and it came true she finally decided that the beauty is the only thing that she wants. The genie has granted such a request and Bethany becomes beautiful, but no one knows what her future will be like. The author leaves the audience with the opportunity to think up the event development on their own, so one may invent the ending of the story.
The theme of Beauty is very actual and widespread in the contemporary life. It is easily noticeable that many people do not understand how happy they are without being beautiful, but having a nice family, well-paid jobs, and faithful friends around. Jane Martin’s play shows the miserable side of people who are jealous.
The viewer may like or dislike the story ending but that is the author’s vision of the situation. Instead of criticizing, one can learn lessons of defining the real values which life sometimes gives to us. The play is an example of how the question that bothered the human beings for years and centuries is described. Jealousy makes people unhappy and often leads to negative results.
The symbols that are used in Beauty also help the viewer to analyze the importance of what happens on the stage. The symbol of the genie characterizes the happy chance of getting the desired thing, but it is not like that in the real life. This is described to show that if every human wish comes true the chaos and disorder occurs. The real deal is to appreciate things that one has already got and find good points in everything.
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