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Concepts of Beauty in Literature

            Have people become blind of beauty? Or too caught up? In Elaine Scarry's reading On Beauty and Being Just, she argues that our responses to beauty are perceptual events of reflective significance for the individual and for society. Impulsively, beauty indeed catches our attention and brings copes of itself into being (Scarry). It brings the act of replication into existence and can "distract" us – it is inevitable. "The beautiful thing seems – is – incomparable, unprecedented; and that sense of being without precedent conveys a sense of 'newness' or 'newbornness' of the entire world. It is the very way the beautiful thing fills the mind and breaks all frames that gives the 'never before in the history of the world' feeling" (Scarry). Scarry's evidence show that we need to be proactive in looking for beauty and educating ourselves. In other words, beauty draws us toward a greater concern for justice. .
             Things come in and out of focus. Beauty has the ability to direct attention to injustices and distracts from more important issues. Homer claims that beauty rouses thought, discern, deliberation. He practices three key features of beauty that return in the new object of beauty: sacred, unprecedented, and lifesaving. Scarry uses the poems and laws of Homer to demonstrate why beauty has been perceived to be unprecedented, for it leads to a search of a precedent. John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath appears to give the reader several perspectives of concern for justice from of a feeling of newness or newbornness – the unprecedented. In this novel, the Joads are a poor family migrating to California in search and need of jobs/work, money, materials, and shelter – the precedent, the search. They arrive at the Weedpatch camp where migrants govern themselves and are instantly attracted to the camp. The people are so kind and the camp is clean and relaxing.

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