"The Two Faces" by Henry James_
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The story under consideration is called "The Two Faces" written by Henry James. It describes the life of a high society and its members, who are hypocritical and artificial under their beautiful clothes.
One of the members of this society is Mrs. Grantham, the main character of the story. She is introduced as a woman of an extreme beauty and clever mind. The author compares her with "prima donna assoluta".
Shirley Sutton, her lover, said to her: "You are looking lovely for him… But that's enough. Don't be clever. These words prove the fact that beautiful women aren't supposed to be clever. Mrs.Grantham had the combination of these two features and was well aware of it. She was shrewd enough to revenge herself upon her ex-lover, Lord Gwyther, who had come to her on an errand to ask Mrs. Grantham to introduce his wife to the society. Lord Gwyther, in his turn, put his wife at stake. He longed for being admitted in the society with the help of Mrs. Grantham. But she turned out to be not that of silly beautiful woman. She made use of her position and made Mrs. Gwyther look awkward in the society. To emphasize this the author uses simile: "overloaded like a monkey in a show".
Shirley Sutton, perhaps, was one of the few who noticed the innocence of Mr. Gwyther and "the face which went to the heart". For the first time he was able to see the inner beauty of the woman, but not only the inner magnificence, which he used to admiring in the society and saw in Mrs. Grantham.
The title of the story is symbolical. Under "The Two Faces" are understood, on the one hand, Mrs. Grantham and her outer beauty, and on the other hand, Mrs. Gwyther, a young, inexperienced, pure girl, who possessed the heart and soul and didn't suit the society of hypocrisy.
To my way of thinking, the idea of the story is the following: only some people can be admitted to the society, where the inner world of the man means nothing, but the beauty and the clothes are valued.
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