Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld reflections

With my seminar for this class tomorrow, and two enormous projects looming over the very near future, I wasn't able to read the entire book. It's a long book! But I'm really enjoying it. Enjoying it to the point that if the ending doesn't randomly suck, I'll probably go and buy the rest of the series and read it over the break between semesters.

I am a huge fan of dystopias. And this one seems to have more to offer than a lot of dystopias that I have read. Yes, they live in a closed society riddled with rules. But this one brings up other issues, like body issues, self-image, identity, and conformity issues. This might shock some of you, but I was called ugly as a kid, but that's nothing unique to me. How many times do you hear girls fighting and the worst thing they can say is "Well, you is UGLY!!!" </bad grammar>. How often do we (especially women) see articles declaring (like it's the first time we've heard it) that women who are pretty get better positions and better paying jobs just because they're pretty?

I like how this novel brings this to the forefront. Everyone gets turned into a pretty. Somewhere it said something on the lines of, there's only new pretty, middle pretty, and old pretty. Then dead pretty. But then there's just ugly, and that's not even really an option. I like how before the second part of the novel, the issue of choice comes up, but for a different circumstance that I wont spoil. But why can't you choose? And I wonder, just what is ugly for them? It's not really illustrated thus far, and beauty is subjective. We know that the main character has frizzy hair and thin lips, but that doesn't necessarily make her ugly, as in, hideous like Quasimodo. I find it's interesting that you cannot choose to not go through with the change. You simply do not get the choice to say "no thanks, I don't need it."

Thus far, I am really enjoying the novel.   

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