Ethics In American Beauty Essay Research Paper

Ethics In American Beauty Essay, Research Paper

Ethics in “American Beauty”

The word ethics is derived from the Greek work “ethos,” which refers to the character and sentiment of the community, and standards of behavior. Ethical means conforming to the standards of a given profession or group. Any group can set its own ethical standards and then decide to live by them or not. Ethical standards, whether an individual, a society, or even a whole nation establishes them, help to guide a person’s decisions and actions. The commonly accepted definition of ethics is rules or standards that govern behavior. There are many different characters and actions in Alan Ball’s “American Beauty” that show the ethics, or what may seem to be the lack thereof, of each person. Not every character in the movie may seem to have ethics, and therefore affects their actions. I chose to write about two “friends,” Jane and Angela, both of whom were using the other for different reasons.

Jane, the daughter of Lester, comes across as being a bitter, dark girl. She at times feels embarrassed by her parents, and what they do. She feels that she doesn’t possess any special qualities or anything that might make her attractive. When Ricky complimented her at times, she became all embarrassed, as if she had never been complimented before. Ricky was able to see the beauty inside of her, and that is what attracted him to her. Jane is constantly fighting with her parents. After the basketball game that her parents went to see, and when Angela came over that night, Jane was incredibly annoyed with her dad and the way that he acted towards Angela. She couldn’t believe the way that he looked at her, talked to her, etc. Jane’s friendship with Angela is completely superficial. To Jane, Angela is everything that she’ll never be. Angela, the “perfect” girl to Jane, has some qualities that Jane hopes she will adapt by constantly being with her. This is completely unethical. You don’t befriend someone just because you hope that you will pick some of his or her qualities. If you are friends with someone, it should be because you like being around that person. As you can see in the end of the movie, when Jane and Angela have their falling-out, Jane couldn’t stand her all along. She did nothing but annoy Jane with the way that she acted. Even throughout the whole movie, Jane became less and less tolerant of Angela as Ricky opened her up to exactly how beautiful she was.

Angela is on the…

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