Tally Youngblood, By Scott Westerfeld: Similar Differences

913 Words 4 Pages
Similar Differences

In today’s society, adolescents are insecure and awkward, making them a staple for being “ugly and “out of place.” This ideology is captured in a riveting way in Scott Westerfeld’s novel Uglies. In the book, the main character, Tally Youngblood, is living in a society that suggests from the ages of 12 to 16, one is considered ugly and pretty much sent into exile until their sixteenth birthday, where an operation is performed to make them “pretty.” It sounds a bit ridiculous, but adolescents today can probably relate to this feeling of banishment in their few years of awkwardness. Consider for a moment what it felt like to be that age between child and teenager. It probably felt really uncomfortable. This is something
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Twelve was definitely the turning point, when you changed from a cute littlie into an oversized, undereducated ugly,” (77). This is how adolescents are viewed in this alternate reality. The reality people live in today, however, can see this as a part of growing up. Something that really hits home in the book and in life is that in the book and real life, the uglies and adolescents both believe they are truly ugly, and the only way to change that is to conform to society. In both cases, they are wrong. While in the minds of most uglies there is no other way to be “pretty” than to get the operation, some uglies could see past what society had to say and focus instead on what makes a person truly pretty. It is not about the symmetry of a face, but the uniqueness of each person. “Tally giggled... ‘Yeah, no point in being uglier than usual.’ Shay’s face clouded… then looked up sharply. ‘You’re not ugly.’ ‘Oh, come on, Shay.’ ‘No, I mean it.’ She reached out and touched Tally’s real nose. ‘Your profile is great,’” (80). Even Shay, someone who had been told her whole life that no one is pretty until they get the operation, knew that the operation never made anyone truly pretty, just gave them a fake face. “Shay’s eyes flashed. ‘Or maybe when they do the operation… so you look like everybody else--- maybe after going through all that you just aren’t very interesting anymore,’” …show more content…
Yet, even still, no one is ever truly satisfied. Being “pretty” becomes an addiction, so that people will sacrifice anything just to be that. “’Listen, Tally, these last two months are our chances… to be ourselves. Once we turn, it’s new pretty, middle pretty, late pretty… then dead pretty.’ ‘Better than dead ugly,’ Tally said,” (49 & 50). In this society, being pretty is everything. Take Tally, for example. She set off on this long journey to find Shay after she runs away, only because she was threatened to not be given her operation. In order to be pretty, she must break her promise to Shay and sell her out. Just to be pretty. This is a message that is sent out worldwide, in life and in the book. To do what must be done to be

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