Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

In central focus of the play where

In Jane Martin’s
play, Beauty, a common conflict found
is the desire of wanting what others have and vice versa, not realizing each
person has their unique accomplishments and achievements.  The characters in this play are dealing with
beauty and jealousy issues, although they do not necessarily have a problem
with each other they have an inner conflict of wanting what the other has
revealing the gender role of the stereotypical jealous woman and one whom focuses
on external beauty.  Therefore, a
feminist theme is noticeable in each of the main characters throughout the

Carla is portrayed
as a beautiful young lady but one that does not have the brains or wits to go
with her beauty.  She gets an abundant amount
of attention from many men in which her life revolves in going on dates and
spending much of her time talking on the phone.  Her lack of intelligence is noticeable when
she tells Bethany that on an application where it says “sign here” she has
written Sagittarius (965).  Then there is
Bethany who is not as beautiful as Carla, but she is a cheerful and a very
intelligent girl. Because of her intelligence she has accomplish much success
in her studies, in publishing and in her accounting career.  Carla and Bethany’s beauty is a central focus
of the play where Carla is characterized as the perfect and beautiful success story
and Bethany the ugly and unsuccessful of the two, but in reality it is the
other way around.

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The two characters
of the play are not content with their status in life to the point that it brings
out emotions of jealousy from both.  As
Bethany explains to Carla her encounter with the genie and that she has one
wish left, she informs her that she wants to ask the genie to make her be more
like her.  That is when the reader finds
out about both characters displeasure with each other’s life and how they both
wish to be in each other’s shoes.  For
example, when Carla tells Bethany, “you have charm.  You have personality.  You know perfectly well you’re pretty” (964)
Bethany’s response to her statement is, “Pretty, see that’s it.  Pretty is the minor leagues of beautiful”
(964).  Bethany’s reaction is that of one
who is lead to believe that in this society beauty equals success and
happiness, which is why many times girls are willing to go to any length to
alter their appearance.  It is more representative
of women to give extra attention to ones look and to give harder criticism on
other women’s appearance than it is of men.

It is unfortunate
that people sometimes have the tendency to be unappreciative with what they
have to where it may lead one to become envious, and this could bring
devastating effects on some individuals. 
The fact that Carla is trying to explain to Bethany how unhappy she is
telling her, “Well, it’s not what I want” (965) in reference to Bethany’s
comment that everyone wants beauty, Bethany’s interpretation is that Carla just
does not want her to be in her “league” (365). 
Bethany’s obsession is a clear depiction of what some women tend to believe
that the lives of others are better than their own.  Instead of seeing the good in their own lives,
some women in this society apt to compare their achievements with that of
others and all they can see is the negatives and not positives in their own

At the end of the
play when Bethany’s last wish is fulfilled their bodies switch where each girl
becomes the other.  They both proceed to
say, “We both have the one thing, the one and only thing everybody wants, what
is that, different problems” (966) it is there where both girls learn their lesson
about jealousy.  That everyone has
problems and that one can look up to other’s but that does not mean that they
have a perfect life or like the saying goes, the grass is not always greener on
the other side.  Carla and Bethany are a clear
representation of women and gender and the role they play in society.  It is Martin’s advice to society that one
should stop looking for happiness in other places when it only weakens ones
achievements and accomplishments. 


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