Ask Morgana 203: Who’s beautiful?

There’s a poignant and beautiful short story by Arthur Miller, entitled Please Don’t Kill Anything. It was written in 1960, and it depicts a middle-aged man and his beautiful, ingenuous wife during a visit to a beach at sundown. There they meet a fisherman, and the young wife, moved by the sight of a pile of rejected fish, tries to throw them back into the sea. It is poignant, because it is clearly about the early years of Miller’s affair with and marriage to Marilyn Monroe, and because their relationship broke down a bare year after this story was written.

Marilyn was the right woman in the right place at the wrong time, it seems, for most of her life. Sexy, strong-willed, yet vulnerable, she belonged to an age when the male gaze dominated, but belonged in an age where a strong female peer-group might have formed around her. With the small collection images below I have deliberately avoided the famous posed ‘Monroe pout’, and have gone instead for photos where she is happy, or lost in thought or longeur, or at a moment of surprise. She might not have Grace Kelly’s flawlessness, but if she has a flaw I can’t say where it is. All I can see is someone who didn’t want anyone – anything – to suffer, but who herself suffered.

I can almost feel myself falling in love as I look at these images. That is Marilyn…

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Images reproduced under ‘fair use’ provisions.

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