Beauty of Joy Forever the Principle Point Essay

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Of Joy Forever

The principle point of commonality that exists between Alice Walker's essay, "Beauty: When the Other Dancer is the Self," and Susan Sontag's essay, "Women's Beauty: Put Down or Power Source" is that there is a completeness associated with beauty that most people in modern society inherently neglect, or are not aware of. All too often, people have the tendency to associate beauty with an external, surface quality that comes and goes as easily as a scratch of an eye in Walker's essay. Yet true beauty knows no such external boundaries or very many limitations at all. It is a reflection of something wonderful, of something that would otherwise be indescribable were it not for the word 'beauty', and it is a quality that one can see and not see, a quality that one can feel, smell, and perceive beyond the senses. A thorough examination of the evidence offered in these two works readily proves this thesis.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Essay on Beauty of Joy Forever the Principle Point Assignment

The inner aesthetic associated with beauty was once as commonly known and accepted as its outer manifestations, a point which Sontag refers to early on in her piece of literature. Modern (Western) society has only received its current conception of beauty as something associated with an external quality after several years of subversion by one of the most powerful and efficacious agents of subversion -- religion, or specifically, the Christian Church. Yet even the Church's deliberate separation of outer from inner beauty merely serves as evidence as to the intrinsic totality of these qualities, which are actually reflective of one another and something substantially more, something that exists inside and outside various other places. An analysis of the following quotation suitably demonstrates this point. "By limiting excellence (virtus in Latin) to moral virtue only, Christianity set beauty adrift -- as an alienated, arbitrary superficial enchantment" (Sontag). The author's choice of diction in this quotation is powerful and highly relevant to the consummation of beauty. She explains the procedure the Church went through to dissect beauty from the completeness of its nature, which she implies is not just moral but also physical, external and internal. Therefore, the church's definition that beauty is "arbitrary and superficial" implies that the opposite of beauty is true -- that there is a profundity and truth to it. Truth, therefore, is one of the principle qualities associated with beauty, which occasionally is visible externally, and which other senses may also perceive.

The totality of beauty, which has been distinguished between its inner and outer qualities in the Westernized world, has always existed and will continue to do so. This interminable aspect of beauty is found in places outside of women and is most prominently seen in nature. Walker alludes to this component of beauty in the subsequent quotation.

"I am in the desert for the first time. I fall totally in love with it. I am so overwhelmed by its beauty…I realized I have dashed around the world madly…storing up images against the fading of the light. But I might have missed seeing the desert! The shock of that possibility -- and gratitude for over twenty years of sight -- sends me literally to my knees. Poem after poem comes, which is perhaps how poets pray (Walker).

This quotation hints at the full spectrum of beauty's totality. Beauty is more than just the internal and external aspects of people. It is a force of nature, a desert, vast, practically limitless in its dimensions and appeal. Beauty is inspiring -- it sends Walker to her knees in a semblance of prayer which she carries out in true poetic fashion by writing about the effects of beauty. This quotation is important because of its distinction from other aspects of beauty which do not apply to it. Beauty is not the same as aesthetics. Beautiful is not the same as "pretty." In all likelihood, there is little of aesthetic appeal in sand sprawling about in every direction, with nothing more but rocks and perhaps a few mountains to vary the landscape. Yet such creations are undeniably beautiful,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Beauty of Joy Forever the Principle Point" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Beauty of Joy Forever the Principle Point.  (2012, October 11).  Retrieved October 26, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Beauty of Joy Forever the Principle Point."  11 October 2012.  Web.  26 October 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Beauty of Joy Forever the Principle Point."  October 11, 2012.  Accessed October 26, 2020.