Beauty plays an integral part of my life. Starting with the look and feel of my surroundings –
last year my mum, my sister and I moved to a new house in Hampton. I found it while searching
through various estate agent websites and fell in love with it immediately, as did my mum.
It even has a name:
It was the only house we looked at. It needs a lot of work doing to it, work that will probably take
months to finish. Many prospective buyers before us were put off by the mountain of problems that
needed to be fixed. But not us – the beauty and character of Station House outshone all it’s
shortcomings and with time, love and patience we will restore it back to it’s original splendour and
Albert Hillary (centre) The Station Master of Hampton Station who lived in our house at the turn of the century.
My mum tells me I am beautiful everyday. Often I don’t feel beautiful, I look in the mirror and only
see my faults: my braces, I feel I should be thinner than I am, I might notice a spot on my chin or
that my eyebrows need threading. When I’m having a bad day I can stand in front of the mirror and
pick myself to pieces.
However when my mum tells me I’m beautiful, I look at my reflection and all I
see is my wide, blue-grey eyes, my pretty mouth, my long eyelashes –
and all my ‘imperfections’ melt away. I am unique and perfect exactly as I am – even with the
occasional spot or unruly eyebrow.
Name: Nancy Downs
High school student
Very smart, but not necessarily academic.
Nancy comes from a very troubled home environment. Her mother suffers from alcoholism, her stepfather is shown behaving in an abusive manner towards both Nancy and her mother, and she doesn’t appear to have any contact with her father. Her family also has a lot of money problems at the beginning of the film.
Nancy is frequently shown to be smoking and/or drinking throughout the film. Mentally she also appears to be quite unstable.
Nancy behaves in quite a promiscuous manner at times during the film, but it is never specifically stated that Nancy is sexually active, so this promiscuity may just be a defense mechanism.
Judging by her living environment at the beginning of the film, we can assume that Nancy’s childhood has not been a happy or stable one. Her mother’s alcoholism causes her to behave in an erratic, aggressive manner, and her mother’s boyfriend’s violent behavior suggests that domestic violence is also a daily occurrence in Nancy’s home, which is a rundown trailer.
Nancy dreams of a better life for herself and her mother
Nancy has a strong need for control over her life and she also seeks stability. She tries to compensate for her less than ideal family situation, by creating a ‘family circle’ with Bonnie and Rochelle, who come from environments that are different from Nancy’s, but equally troubled in different ways.
From the beginning of the film Nancy seems to have a very different standard of morals than are generally accepted in society. However to Nancy, her actions are always justifiable, eg: when she shoplifts, she feels entitled to take what she wants, because from her worldview, life has been very unfair to her and has given her very little, so therefore she feels justified to take whatever she wants.
Generally Nancy does not come across as a very nice person, this is mainly because she is so angry, angry at the world and angry at her life in general: she expresses this anger in the way that she verbally lashes out at people she feels threatened by. She appears to have been hurt and let down by many people in her life, the majority of them probably men. She is on the defensive the majority of the time and suffers from paranoia and a deep underlying insecurity.
What Does Your Character Care About?
The main things Nancy cares about I’ve summarized in her Dreams and her main Need/Purpose: Her dream of a better life, her need for stability and control over her environment. This is her motivation and the driving force behind her actions throughout the film.
What Does Your Character Fear?
I feel that Nancy’s main fear is abandonment and betrayal, most likely because she has been abandoned and betrayed by many people during the course of her life. This ‘central fear’ becomes more readily apparent throughout the film as she mentally spirals further and further out of control.
How Do Other Characters View Your Character?
As a defense mechanism, Nancy doesn’t allow many people to get close to her. To the majority of the characters in the film, other than Bonnie, Rochelle and Sarah, Nancy appears intimidating, unfriendly and unapproachable.