On Beauty and Being Just Themes

Elaine Scarry
This Study Guide consists of approximately 12 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of On Beauty and Being Just.
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Beauty

The overarching theme of the book, beauty is manifest in On Beauty and Being Just in a variety of ways. The first section of the book serves to prove that we can be wrong about whether or not something is beautiful - suggesting that perhaps we can be wrong about the value of beauty, as well. Beauty appears in many different forms throughout the book, including the beauty of gods, inanimate objects like vases, natural objects like flowers, and humans as well. Scarry spends a good deal of time discussing whether or not beauty can be dangerous as something inciting laziness towards social problems or even evil in itself as it causes harm to those who possess it; however, she disproves these ideas, arguing finally that beauty is almost the ultimate good, as it inspires social justice. The main reason behind this argument is that we seek out...

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This section contains 542 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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