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Beauty

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This funny witty story “Beauty” by Jane Martin is about two girls who argue about the facets each one has. Carla is the definition of beauty, and Bethany who is the opposite carries something Carla wishes she had: brains, personality, and a college degree. The play relies mostly on wit and wordplay with only two characters and a genie lamp. Both Carla and Bethany envy one another; wishing they had each other’s looks or persona. When Bethany has the power to change what she has and get what she has always wanted; the writer uses Carla to show that Bethany will be disappointed with the set of dialogue they use back and forth. Carla is clearly not happy with herself and her insecurities; meanwhile so is Bethany, discovering that everyone has different problems no matter what they look like. Everyone is envious of someone for something not realizing they have problems they won’t understand. Because “Beauty” is a play, Martin introduces the characters through dialogue. The first character, Carla, is first seen talking on the phone with a random suitor that she met at a bar and she cannot seem to remember. This is evidence that Carla has some type of beauty that attracts male attention, even without any actual interaction. Later in the play, Carla references the fact that she has a modeling meeting with Ralph Lauren, reiterating the fact that she is physically beautiful. The second character, Bethany, is Carla’s friend, and obviously a good friend because she does not mind interrupting Carla on the phone regardless of how many times Carla asks her to be quiet. Bethany has a demanding job as a public accountant, and decides to take a break to go to the beach. While there, she finds a lamp with a magic genie inside. The magic genie grants Bethany three wishes, three chances to have something she would not normally get in her life. Martin uses the genie to unmask Bethany’s hidden desires and discontent in her life.

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