Physical Beauty In Mr. Ryder's The Wife Of His Youth

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Physical Beauty There is a famous saying that states, “ we should not judge a book by its cover”, but oftentimes the first thing noticed on a person is their looks. One’s “physical beauty” strongly influences people’s first impressions of them. As a whole, we tend to assume that pretty people are more likeable and better people than those who are unattractive. Around the world, we believe that what is beautiful is good. There is a general consensus within a culture about what is considered physically appealing and beautiful. “Physical beauty” is associated with being more sociable, intelligent, and even socially skilled. Society shares this common notion of who has and who does not have “physical beauty”. Thus, “physical beauty”, as seen …show more content…

In “The Wife of His Youth”, Mr. Ryder is the dean of the Blue Veins Society, a society that consisted of people who were more white than black. Some of the outsiders stated, “that no one was eligible for membership who was not white enough to show blue veins” (Chesnutt 624). Thus, this created society has established their ideal physical appearance, rejecting those African Americans who had too dark of a complexion to see their veins. Mr. Ryder’s hair almost straight, neatly dressed, eloquent manners, and his moral compass allows him to achieve a position of high social standing. His “physical beauty” and the young beautiful Molly Dixon by his side, solidify his powerful position. He believes this marriage is his social responsibility to “lighten” the race, as a way for mixed-blood to become a part of the white race. Mr. Ryder states, “Mrs. Dixon would help to further the upward process of absorption he had been wishing and waiting for” (Chesnutt 626). He throws a ball in his soon to be wife’s honor, but he only invites the people with the best looks, manners, and complexion. Prior to the ball, his past comes back to haunt him in the form of his wife. She does not recognize him, but he recognizes her. His pursuit of “physical beauty” has led to his destruction and the potential destruction of everything he worked for on his escape from …show more content…

Throughout the Bluest Eye, Claudia is persistently reminded of what society considers beautiful. Every Christmas, she receives a big blue-eyed baby doll that depicts what society considers beautiful. She deeply wants someone to ask her what she wants for Christmas, but instead she merely gets a doll that reminds her of what society considers beautiful. Claudia could not join in on a conversation with Freida and Pecola about how cute Shirley Temple’s dimpled face was because she hated Shirley. However, Pecola just loves Shirley, and she suffers tremendously from these white beauty standards. She believes that if her eyes were beautifully blue, then she would be different. Pecola has associated beauty with being loved, and desperately wants blue eyes to feel the love and respect that she is deprived of without those blue eyes. Once she possesses these blue eyes, she believes she will finally be loved and valued by others. In her world, Pecola desires qualities that are going to cause low self-esteem. She does not see her true beauty because society does not view her as possessing the standard “physical

In this essay, the author

  • Argues that physical beauty influences people's first impressions of a person. the dominant culture creates the image of true "physical beauty", leading to self-hate, envy, and destruction.
  • Analyzes how mr. ryder is the dean of the blue veins society, a society consisting of people who were more white than black. his "physical beauty" and the young beautiful molly dixon solidify his powerful position.
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