The Theme Of Prejudice In 'Dumplin' By Julie Murphy

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Dolly Parton once said, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” But even when people follow this advice, many others do not take the time to discover who those people are. This is apparent in the book Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy. When people see Willowdean Dickson, they think “Fat Girl”. However, if they got to know her better, they would see that she is so much more. Therefore, the theme of this book is prejudice, which often prevents people from seeing who others really are.
Willowdean (Will) has never really cared about her weight or what people think of her. She has her best friend Ellen and, to her, that’s all she needs. That does not mean, however, that she is not judged. In fact, often the contrary occurs. Ellen often tries
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Bo tells Willowdean that he wants to make their relationship official, but she refuses, even though she likes him a lot. She had even stated earlier in the book, “The Truth: I’ve had this hideous crush on Bo since the day we met.” (7) In spite of her huge crush, however, the fear of judgement truly got to Will. The once confident Willowdean who was proud of her curves, started to feel bad about herself knowing people would have prejudices against her and that having a relationship with Bo would make it even worse. She imagined the whispers about her being the worse half, people wondering why he would pick a girl like her. She expressed perturbation at the fact that everyone, through their prejudices, would simple wonder, ‘How’d she get him?”. Will even confided in her best friend Ellen, despite having not talked to her in months, saying, “He wants to put a label on us...And you know we won’t even make it one day at school without being ridiculed. He doesn’t get that.” (341) Willowdean knew nobody would see what Bo saw in her; they would not see past the extra fat on her …show more content…
Despite our ideals of a world in which everyone is equally valued, prejudices often keep these ideals from becoming a reality. In Dumplin’, many characters are judged at a first glimpse, not by a conversation or relationship. People never look past Will’s body to see the hilarious and stubborn, yet good-hearted character she is. Willowdean is proof that prejudice prevents people from seeing others for who they are, but through her determined nature, she is also proof that we can change that. Dolly Parton was known for once saying, “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” Will put herself out there notwithstanding people’s prejudices; she was herself on

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