The Analysis of “Beauty: When the Other Dancer Is the Self”

Topics: Academy Award for Best Picture, The Reader, Life Pages: 3 (1079 words) Published: October 23, 2008
A person’s perception of anything is always influenced by their experiences. Alice Walker, the writer of “Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self”, is no different in regards to her perception of beauty. Walker uses various stylistic elements throughout her writing to convey her shifting outlook toward her own beauty. She also employs various rhetorical strategies in order to deliver a clear and luring story that keeps the reader engaged as she describes her life as a flashback. Walker uses the accident that happens during her childhood to prove that one’s mindset can be altered because of a profound experience and how her attitude completely transforms from a conceited and arrogant child into a newly reborn woman who sees a new kind of beauty within her life. She uses different points of her life to develop this very idea in separate comprehensible stages. She begins the story with a very smug outlook on life where she knows she’s beautiful. “I’m the prettiest!”(442), a young walker decrees as she abuses her beauty for her father’s approval. This attitude is further encouraged by the society of which she is a product. She is always used to hearing praise from people such as “Oh, isn’t she the cutest thing!”(442). In a culture like this, Walker begins shaping into a commodity more than an actual person. Walker herself even views her younger form with disdain because of this snobbish attitude, because she writes in a tone that shows her as such an unpleasantly shallow child through her perspective as an adult. Using proclamations such as “It was great fun being cute. But then, one day, it ended.”(442) Walker shows her contempt for her former self by demonstrating the mere temporary happiness that ones own exploitation can provide. Because of this early depiction, Walker can then use the drastic change which occurs later to express her drastic attitude change with greater effect. Walker’s use of different stages makes a more profound impact on the reader’s...
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