Discontent in Jane Martin's "Beauty"

Topics: Friendship, Interpersonal relationship, Jealousy Pages: 3 (1085 words) Published: April 10, 2011
Every day, a person will see celebrities on television, talk to peers in school or at work, or have encounters with strangers on the street, and automatically make assumptions on what their life must be like. Many times, they envision the other person’s life to be something bigger and better than their own life and that vision causes them to become jealous. That jealousy, in effect, can consume them and cause them become unhappy with the assets and characteristics that they have. People can become so discontented with their lives that they would be willing to give up everything they have to start over or have a different life with different problems. The way that the main characters in Jane Martin’s “Beauty” describe their lives as undesirable and wish to change their current situation clearly demonstrate how people tend to be discontented with their own lives regardless of what they have going for them.

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. Her first wish for $25,000 was...
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