On Beauty Setting

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Belsey Residence

The Belsey home is a large, traditional New England-style brick building. Kiki, Howard, Zora, Levi, and Jerome live here. Though once grand, the house is now slightly shabby.

The house was bequeathed from Kiki’s side of the family -- her great grandmother was nurse who inherited the home from a “benevolent white doctor with whom she had worked closely for twenty years,” (17). Though the home is essentially Kiki’s birthright and represents the lineage of her family, the present state of the house is more reflective of Howard’s sensibilities: Howard allows no representational art or music to exist in the house.

At the end of the novel, when Kiki and Howard separate, Kiki is the one who leaves the house and gets an apartment of her own. This represents her forging a new life for herself outside of the traditions of her family.

Wellington College

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This section contains 518 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the On Beauty Study Guide
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