Conflicting Beauty Standards in Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies

March 10, 2021 by Essay Writer

In class, I read the book Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. An interesting fact about the novel itself is that the publishing company is offering their authors to come to a live event. This is a rarity to see right in the front of the book, and I found it interesting. Tally is a “pretty” and is reminded of her current past life as an “ugly”. In a distorted reality where attractiveness is objective, Tally has upgraded to a “pretty”. However, she is faced with memories of her old life as an Ugly. Personally, I would not recommend this novel. The distorted reality was a big turn off for me, as it feels fake and fabricated. It’s not a whole other universe from our reality, but it’s it also looks distorted in my eyes. This book has 348 pages, all divided into 39 chapters and 3 parts. This novel doesn’t seem to have a definite time period where it took place. Instead, it covers more of a present untimed tense. One conflict in the novel is that Tally has had plastic surgery, but since she didn’t seem to have much of a choice. The book tells a story of the trauma caused by that incident that happened to Tally. This conflict goes along with another one – Fighting the “specials” in order to look and feel “pretty”.

These are person versus person, and person versus self conflicts. A solution Tally and her boyfriend Zane thought of was taking each others pills. This novel was not readable because it is about how pretty everyone has to be, and it’s all presented in a non realistic way. Somebody that would like this novel may be a female aged 12-18 years old because this book is more towards the teenage lifestyle. Adults would probably not find this novel is for them. This book would relate to a teenager more than an adult because it relates more towards the teen side of everything because it’s about a teenage girl, on a quest to live up to beauty standards, which lots of teenagers go through. The purpose of this book is to relate issues in the book to real world issues going on amongst teens. To show in a different way that this world has “pretty” and “ugly” people. As I mentioned before, I did not like this book because I can’t relate to the characters. Although sometimes there is some connection, I didn’t connect with the characters because I don’t feel the need to change myself for others. In conclusion, I did not like the novel Pretties by Scott Westerfeld. It is about a girl living in a Pretty town and how all this matters to be pretty, and I don’t like that idea. It really should not matter what you look like, and you should like yourself for you.

I believe the purpose of the novel was fulfilled because people in reality want to be and look pretty, and the book shows the extent in a different setting than usual. People should read this novel for the relatability, even though reality seems to be distorted. It can be interesting to see such a serious topic this way. People will also enjoy a new take on the topic of self image. Tally is a teenage girl living in pretty town who is reminded of her past as an ugly. I found the most interesting thing in the novel to be when Tally and Zane shared their pills, which were for two different things. Zanes brain tissue suffered. Another interesting factor of the novel was when when Zane is rushed to the hospital and we find out that he has a tracker implanted on his tooth. Also interesting is the time where Tally goes to visit Zane in the hospital and the special find hers and she is turned into a special herself.


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