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Symbolism in "American Beauty"

            I have to admit that watching movies is one of my favorite guilty pleasures. I like it almost as much as reading a book, but not quite. One of my favorite movies is "American Beauty-, starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, and Thora Birch as a dysfunctional family who have given up trying to work things out. Spacey's character, Lester, who also serves as narrator of the story, goes through a sort of middle-age crisis, and when he is killed, he calmly narrates,.
             "I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst, and then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life. You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry, you will someday."".
             This quote, although someone who has not seen the movie may misinterpret it and think it simply a strange thing, is very meaningful to me.
             In the last few moments of his life, when Lester accepts the fact that he is going to die, he finally starts to realize all the things he had taken for granted while living; mainly beauty. He doesn't mean beauty in the normal sense of the word, he means the beauty that is in everything all around us "everything; a simple plastic bag caught in the wind, as is seen earlier in the movie, a photograph of his family, his daughter's friend, and even his pretty New England block. I think that when he died, he was suddenly seeing it "all at once-, and was overwhelmed by the intense beauty all around him. He says that it was "too much-, and that it made him quickly fill up inside, but then he remembered to "relax-, and to let go, to "stop trying to hold on to it-.

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