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Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

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Uglies is a science fiction novel that is of great social and cultural significance in the current century. Its exclusive writing and publication took place in the year 2005. The novel is termed as a science fiction given that it conveys a story of a teenager who sought to transform his physical appearance through a scientific process known as cosmetic surgery. It also portrays the rush by the young generation to turn pretty for selfish gains in the present century and going forward through extreme cosmetic surgery (Westerfeld 2). In particular, the novel tells the story of Tally, a teenager, who was determined to go for cosmetic surgery to enhance beauty. Tally’s quest for prettiness portrays his rebellious nature to the society that she lives. This paper gives in-depth analysis of the novel titled Uglies that is widely embraced due to the social message that it conveys. It focuses on general analysis, its theme, setting, dominant motifs and character, symbolism among others.
Its theme
The novel titled “Uglies” adopted change as its theme that is derived from the appearance transformation that younger generation is pursuing. The theme is both emotional and physical. The emotional aspect of the theme is that the surgery changes physical look hence boost individual’s self-esteem, social attachment and ego that are associated with emotion. Young people are feeling confident and liked when they look good. They feel emotionally stable when they are pretty.

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The physical aspect of the change is derived from the cosmetic surgery. It gives the new-physical look and attractive body or facial complexion that is attractive and good looking.
Dominant motifs
The novel conveys a socially relevant message that is educative to the younger generation. The message of body transformation through cosmetic surgery dominates the novel. The message justifies the main motif of the study that revolves around physical body transformation with the aim of becoming pretty. Every young person strives to be pretty as a way of gaining social satisfaction (Westerfeld 2). The other motif that is widely portrayed in the novel is sycophancy among the characters. This is evident as most of Tally’s friends such as Sow, Shay advises Tally against changing her looks noting that there are several ugly people in the society (Durham and Antonsson 3). However, Shay later accepts and becomes pretty contrary to her stand on cosmetic surgery. What is interesting is when some of the friends tell her not to listen to Show and Shay.
Symbolism and setting
Evidently, the author has used various words to symbolize various equipment, people, and mode of transport. For instance, “pretties” is used symbolically in the novel to mean a group of people who have changed their looks through cosmetic surgery (Westerfeld 3). “Interface rings” has been used to symbolize those people living in the city who wear interface rings. They wear the rings to facilitate their interactive capacity with several computers. Likewise, “belly sensors” is symbolically used to describe the rings that are used to tell where the center of gravity of hoverboard is located, while “hoverboards” symbolizes the means of transport available during Tally’s time (Westerfeld 9).
On the other hand, the novel has a clear setting that revolves around the cultural changes and changes in lifestyle. The changes are geared towards improving teenagers’ looks by becoming pretty. The changes are bound to be practiced continually in the future as the every new generation finds it cool. They resonate with it given that beauty is part of their language as they grow.
Analysis and the characters
The main characters in the play are Tally who is the young teenager whose decision to become pretty at the age of 16 years through cosmetic surgery elicits mixed reactions. The mixed reactions are evident since there are those friends who supported her while others discouraged her stating that the practice has severe side effects that will compromise her functionality in the future (Westerfeld 42). For instance, David’s parents tell her that cosmetic surgery will expose her to a severe brain damage. Shay, her good friend, also discourages her by being more rebellious when she had about the plan. Shay and Tally argued for long over the matter stating both its good and bad effects. Shay goes ahead in the argument and informs Tally about the city that hosts many ugly people.
Shay tells her about the town in the wilderness where not everyone is pretty, but Tally is in no mood of going there. Show her friend, her mother Ellie Youngblood and father Sol also cautioned Tally against going for the surgery that was to be conducted by Dr. Cable. To get facts about Shay’s assertion that there is a town with ugly people and they live well, Tally decides to find the hidden town. The town that is called the smoke became lovely for her given that she finds Shay well and meets an anew friend called David whose parents have against young people turning pretty (Westerfeld 55). Tally, interacted with Shay, who later disappears and leads them to a great search with David. They later find Shay when she is already turned pretty and looking good. After Shay’s turning, many people still advises Tally not to get pretty but she defies everyone at last. She says to Dr. Cable ” I am Tally Youngblood, make me pretty.”
This decision forms part of the closing remarks in the play made buy Tally. It shows her rebellious nature against the society since many members of the society is seen discouraging her from being pretty. Perris, her friend, is one major person who is seen supporting Tally in her mission. She helps Tally to betray Shay Given that she is already made pretty.
The important message the novel is communicating about society
The key message the novel is conveying to the society is that times are changing, and scientific advancement is threatening to erode the traditional practices. Cosmetic surgery is one invention that will not be resisted easily in the future, as many young people are interested in exploring the concept to become pretty and good looking. The other message conveyed is the aggressive nature of the teenagers (Durham and Antonsson 3). They seem more decisive and independent minded people who are not willing to listen to advice. This is apparent in Tally’s case when she persisted in the quest to become pretty through cosmetic surgery contrary to the overwhelming resistance from the society members.
Similarly, the novel convey a pertinent message to parents and society members that they have a role to nurture their young ones by inculcating good virtues and moral values including the understanding to advices from the elderly.
The larger message
The novel relays various messages that are instrumental in understanding different societies people live in, peer influence, the love for beauty and pretty bodies and the rebellious character of teenagers. The first message the love for beauty and pretty looks. Several young people are always working towards looking good. They pursue all avenues and available options including undertaking surgery as in Tally’s case just to enhance their appearance (Durham and Antonsson 12). We see this from Tally, who is not influenced from abandoning her decision of getting pretty. She has a fixed mind and all the advice given are just inappropriate to her.
Another message conveyed is the role of the society in influencing individual’s decisions. The society members have seen can make some change his or her mind on something. This is depicted in the novel as the negative comments made by the Society members contribute in delaying Tally’s move to become pretty. Therefore, the society members should add their voices on decisions made by the children of the land to foster sanity.
Additionally, the rebellious character of teenagers is a lesson that is apparent in the novel. Tally is seen rebelling against the society’s advice about cosmetic surgery. She goes ahead and declares that she is ready for the surgery against the wishes of many.
How the author convey the message
The author of the novel adopted quality writing skills and styles in conveying the story. He embraced the attributes of good writing that have made the novel interesting and attractive to many readers globally (Durham and Antonsson 23). In particular, the author used simple and clear language that enables many people to understand easily and comprehend its content. He also developed the setting of the novel effectively by ensuring the classical flow of thought including delivery of points. He communicated the theme of the message clearly from the preamble stages thereby making any reader to have a clear picture of the message without strain. Similarly, the author used symbolism, imagery and characters effectively in describing various situations including explaining potential facts.
Indeed, the novel has received warm reception among novel readers globally and several positive reviews. The acceptance and many reviews are attributable to its interesting nature, sense of humor, preciseness, clarity in terms of language and ideas, and flow of thought. The issue portrayed in the story also attracts interest, as many people seek to learn more about becoming pretty through the scientific process. Many people credit the novel for its in-depth nature, creativity with which it is written, effective use of defining characteristics and unique technical gadgets. Similarly, the novel continues to elicit mixed reaction due to the use of plastic surgery in improving looks of individuals.
Works Cited
Durham, Paul, and Antonsson Pétur. The Luck Uglies. New York, NY: Harper, 2014. Print
Westerfeld, Scott. Specials. Simon and Schuster, 2010. Print.
Westerfeld, Scott. Pretties. Simon and Schuster, 2010. Print.
Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies: The Collector’s Set. New York: Simon Pulse, 2009. Print.

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