Circus Misfits And Madmen Analysis

1328 Words 5 Pages
One often finds themselves rooting for the underdog: that unusual, unexpected hero or heroine who ends up charming us with their out-of-the-ordinary stories. Indeed, who cannot be both charmed and intrigued by one of the most extraordinary written characters, Sophie Fevvers, around whom is centered Angela Carter’s novel “Nights at the Circus”? In this story of circus misfits and madmen, Carter uses comparison and contrast between her main character, Sophie, and a character named Mignon to question the expectations and values of the society that has labeled them outcasts. As she reflects these societal values in the outward appearance and inward mentality of the two women, Carter’s message is that wealth and social status do not make a person more beautiful or virtuous, and that true beauty and virtue comes from humility and appreciation for the gifts life has given you. From the …show more content…
While Sophie and Mignon have both come from a place of low social standing (Sophie from a brothel and Mignon from the streets), only Sophie has come to find herself in a position of affluence and recognition. In this position, however, Sophie is a symbol for societal values of false, synthetic beauty and selfish greed and entitlement. Mignon, on the other hand, is a symbol for virtues of admirable humbleness and thankfulness. We can see in this symbolization that Carter is rejecting the idea that the more wealth or social standing a person has, the more beautiful or virtuous they will be. Instead, the beauty and virtue of this book is found in the simple goodness of people such as Mignon, an innocent underdog of a character who just may have more charm than the magnificent “Cockney Venus” in which she plays her humble role

Related Documents