Beauty by Jane Martin

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IT’S A MIRAGE
We live in a country where television and advertisement is designed to entice people into always wanting more than what they already have. This enticement is achieved by feeding into the human desire for happiness. Advertisers create persuasive campaigns that inundate the public with images of societies narrow interpretation of success and beauty. These images are then presented as a precondition to the happiness that human beings are searching for. When a person’s reality does not match this narrow image, the message sent through television and advertisements is that in order to be content people need to find a way to acquire it. As a result we live in a society where people are continuously longing for a happiness that can only be achieved through things that are fleeting and external, which creates feelings of discontentment In the satirical one-act play “Beauty” by Jane Martin the two sole characters are Bethany and Carla. Their behavior demonstrates the affects of discontentment caused by the media. Despite the fact that both of these women are reasonably successful, they each want the things that they do no have that are present in each other. Carla is beautiful and wants to be smart and Bethany is smart and wants to be beautiful. Under normal circumstances the longing to have what someone else has, is usual either eventually abandoned or translates into negative emotions that are never acted on. However, due to the benefit of theatrics, these yearning become achievable because Bethany arrives at Carla’s house armed with “…a goddamn genie and one more wish!” (1108) The play is a microcosm of the discontentment in our society. This discontent is exhibited most effectively through Bethany’s character since she was the one more willing take exaggerated measures to obtain what she wanted. Although, Carla similarly voiced some discontentment with her life, she was not willing to exchange her reality for someone else’s. When we segregate...
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