Individuality, Freedom, Diversity

Can you imagine what would a society be like if there was no diversity? The theme developed in Scott Westerfield’s novel, Uglies, is that both freedom and individuality are crucial in a properly functioning society. The uglies seemed to be looking forward to into a pretty where they were free to do anything they wanted and party all night. However, things all turned out wrong when there were a few outlaws who uncovered the ugly truth. Tally, the main character, was dying to turn 16 and become a pretty to join her pretty friend, Peris. When she sneaked out from Uglyville to visit Peris, she realized that he didn’t even care about her. On her way back, Tally met a new friend, Shay. After that encounter, they immediately became very close friends. When they were both close to turning 16, Shay decided to run away to a town called Smoke and not become pretty. There were uglies who ran away to Smoke before Shay and stayed there to live forever. In this society, no one had any freedom. The pretties who didn’t want to live like pretties had no choice but to have fun all day. “I don’t want to be a pretty.” (Westerfield, 83)  And even the uglies weren’t allowed to live in fanciful places. After the age of 16, everyone looked, acted, and talked the same. No one was unique and no one was left out; there was absolutely no diversity. If everyone was the same, the world wouldn’t have any meaning. The white tiger orchids symbolize that too much of a pretty thing can lead to a total destruction. “One of the most beautiful plants in the world. But too successful. They turned into the ultimate weed.” (181) This is why in the end, the society was failing miserably and there were rebels trying to destroy everything.

I chose to do a collage because I felt like different photos of the setting would best represent my thematic statement. The first triangular photo depicted the kind of place uglies lived in and the photo next to it portrayed the New Pretty Town. Those two photos contrasted the two different ways uglies and pretties live. The blue photo below and the hexagon shaped photo symbolizes that everyone’s personality and appearance are the same and created by technology; not developed by natural. The last photo represented that these people had no freedom meanwhile in the other photo, where Tally and David are riding hoverboards in the Smoke, they had so much freedom. The hoverboards symbolized their freedom.

This also relates to our world right now. We all care so much about our appearance that we forget our true selves. But what defines beauty? We are all beautiful in different ways. It’s just which point of view we see it as. Our world is getting less diverse each time someone does a cosmetic surgery. The truth is, we’ve all forgotten how to love ourselves and with society’s pressure on everyone, we might not even remember what its like to not care about our body. Our society wasn’t developed to have clones everywhere. We were all “designed’ to be different from another and to have freedom in whatever we want to look like; not by peer pressure. That’s what makes a true and good society.

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