Essay No. 168:

The Face Is An Index Of Character: According to the saying, the face of a person is the reflector of his character. One can read the character of a person through his face. Whatever activities he indulges in life to a great extent are reflected through his face. A hardened criminal’s face projects the heinous crimes he commits in life.

His unconscious steep into crimes is mirrored through his face. The face of a virtuous person doing good deeds in life reflects piety and innocence. One could at the first glimpse see signs of nobility running through the face of a noble person. People who are adept in reading human faces, on the very first sight could detect signs of nobility/notoriety on a face.

Face can thus greatly lead to the character-good or bad, of a person. However, it is not a fool proof devise to rely completely on human faces to read the character of people. Ghalib, having a peep into human psycology, rightly observed:

ہیں کواکب کچھ’ نظر آتے ہیں کچھ

دھوکے دیتے ہیں یہ پازی گر کھلا

[Stars are not what they seem Like s sorcerer they openly beguile human eyes]

Man masks his inner emotions and won’t let them appear on his face. He is a great actor who could conceal his inner feelings to dodge others. A person posing the appearance of a saint, May in fact, be a villain of the first water. People suffer from dualism in their behavior. One can thus be deceived by the outer camouflaged behavior of people.

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People put cloak of piety on themselves to openly beguile others. Shakespeare who had a masterly grasp of human psychology in his play: Hamlet, points out the contradictions in human behavior through the speech of Hamlet “A man may smile and smile, but be a villain.” It is thus difficult to read the character of people through their faces, though the latter cold largely reveal the traits of human character.

It is through close association with people that one comes to learn their weaknesses and good points. Long-drawn association comes to reveal their points of strength and weakness. Wholesale reliance thus cannot be made on reading the character of people through their face. One may say, face is a partial index of human character.

“The Face Is An Index Of Character”