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Conventional Vs. True Beauty - Movie Review Example

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Conventional Versus True Beauty Table of Contents I. Introduction 3 II. Discussion 4 III. Conclusion 7 Works Cited 9 I. Introduction There is conventional beauty, or beauty that is perceived from a consensus perspective, and that consensus is the commonplace view, what a large portion of the population deems as beautiful…
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Download file to see previous pages This means the thin model wearing the clothes and makeup that the gatekeepers of fashion say are beautiful, displayed on TV and in other forms of mass media. On the other hand, there is the idea of true beauty, which reflects the existence of an absolute set of standards for what is beautiful, separate from what the masses say is beautiful, and separate from the social conventions of any given period in history. True beauty may or may not jive with what the conventional notions of beauty are at any given time, but one understands that there are eternal qualities associated with true beauty, that stand the test of time. This true beauty requires a different kind of vision for sure than what people ordinarily possess in the movie 'American Beauty'. The implicit message in the movie is that the perception of true beauty requires a certain kind of intelligence, and a certain kind of knowing and vision that is also more elevated and removed from the conventional. This paper asserts that a key take from the movie is that , one can say that far from refining and elevating aesthetic sensibilities, conforming with the rules of society deadens rather than sharpens that vision that allows for the glimpse of true beauty. In the end, with Lester dead, and all of the pressures of family and society removed, with Lester free, he is able to find out what beauty really is (IMDb.com; Smith). II. Discussion From Lester's life and the life of his family we see how the film portrays conformism as a dead end that leads to the deadening of life and the sapping away of that vital force that forges relationships and bonds people. Conformism saps away joy and the fun out of life. This seems to be the initial message of the movie. In it too is lost the conception of beauty that makes life at least bearable and worth living. Ricky, young and full of life, seems to be blessed in this regard, that not having to conform, he is free to pursue joy, and to see beauty. On the other end of the spectrum are repressed lives. Not everything is as it seems. Angela, the young girl who is outwardly beautiful, in herself is inwardly insecure and unsure of how to go about life. She herself lacks a certain vision and certainty, not having experienced any kind of direct vision of joy or beauty that would have pacified her and put her on a more solid footing. This is evident in the way she ended up wanting to have sex with Lester, even though in the end too it became clear that she did not know what she wanted. She was just a confused kid. Carolyn too had drifted from a more carefree and fun life into the life of a career woman obsessed with mantras of material success, all the while missing out on the happiness and beauty that could be had by simply being in the moment and enjoying the time with her daughter Jane. Jane in her way was also suffering from this joy-deprived and loved-deprived environment, and who wouldn't? Her parents were living dysfunctional lives devoid of the beauty and the joy that comes from being close to something more vital. Having lost that, and themselves, they had no joy nor vision of beauty to impart on their poor daughter. In Col. Fitts' lonely life too, there is that same missing element, and where people are less true to themselves, and are bound by conventions that blind them from a truer and more fulfilling life, what happens is that the people around them suffer. Col. Fitts' wife had to bear the emotional and psychological trauma ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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