Group Essay on Uglies By Claire, Tara, Tarah, Genevieve, and Soojin Introduction: “A perfection of means, and confusion of aims seems to be our main problem” (Einstein). As humans, we try to achieve perfection, and fail often. We know how to achieve what we want, but when it comes to what we want to achieve, we get very confused. We have been told by sci-fi authors repeatedly that striving for perfection will be the downfall of the human race. In Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, the government strives to achieve perfection by sculpting their own illustration of idealism.
In any society, individuals judge others’ physical appearance relative to their personal thoughts. The diversity of peoples’ opinions come from individual thoughts untouched by others, but in Uglies, the government believes in perfection being total equality. They believe that uniformity leads to equality in beauty as well as true equality, because beauty biases decisions giving others unfair advantages. Therefore, they strip people’s identities in society for peace and equality within body and mind.
The Uglies illustrates that perfection is unattainable in society, body and mind. we could also use this thesis(The Uglies illustrates that perfection is unattainable when uniformity of society, body and mind is the goal). Paragraph 1 Society is constantly modeling and remodeling a vision of perfection that is unhelpful to the human race. Firstly, a perfect and peaceful society is free of opinions, arguments or diversity. Tally lives in a world with a ‘perfect’ society, and believes what she has been told her entire life: that perfection is total equality and happiness. “‘[The Rusties] killed one another over stuff like having different skin color. … ‘So what if people look more alike now? It’s the only way to make people equal. ’” (Westerfeld 43) In Tally’s society, the operation is “the only way to make people equal” (Westerfeld 43), and therefore perfect. When performing the operation, the government puts a lesion in the person’s brain, along with reshaping their physical features. The final product of this procedure is a ‘perfect’ individual who is free of any personalized opinions, new ideas, or diversity. A ‘perfect’ society cannot look toward the future because of the lack of individuality found within it.
This lack of opinions and even disagreements is a setback not only for society, but for the human race. Secondly, it is impossible for a perfect society to progress. As David’s father, Az, mentioned, imperfect society is driven by opinions, even if most people simply follow them. “‘History would indicate that the majority of people have always been sheep. Before the operation, there were wars and mass hatred and clearcutting. Whatever these lesions make us, it isn’t a far cry from the way humanity was in the Rusty era. These days we’re just a bit… easier to manage. ’” (Westerfeld 258)
Az noticed that perfect and imperfect societies mainly differ based on the opinions people have and the events that follow. In a perfect society, there is only one opinion: the one of the small group of individuals controlling the ‘sheep’. In an imperfect society, however, there is an abundance of opinions that can create conflicts such as war. A perfect society is also quite easy to manage. It also cannot progress because it’s time is finished, as the Sealand lady told the reader in The Chrysalids: “‘[The people of Waknuk] are the crown of creation, they are ambition fulfilled – they have nowhere more to go. ”(Wyndham 182). Although she was talking about the people of Waknuk, the Sealand lady is still telling us that perfection is temporary because it has fulfilled it’s purpose. A perfect society cannot progress because a new vision of society will soon replace it, as has happened throughout history. It can drastically modify the views and ideas of mankind because it is the prelude to change, yet does not provide change itself. Finally, a perfect society is vulnerable. As David pointed out when explaining the Oil Plague to Tally, no civilization or society is without its weakness. ‘Maybe they didn’t want you to realise that every civilization has its weakness. There’s always one thing we depend on. And if someone takes it away, all that’s left is some story in a history class’… ‘It doesn’t have to be about economics’… ‘The weakness could be an idea. ’” (Westerfeld 330) Tally lives in a ‘perfect’ society, and David is showing her just how fragile this perfection is, which can be applied to any other society. David is telling Tally and the reader that any society can collapse because of a single idea.
A ‘perfect’ society is even more vulnerable because it does not progress, and can be replaced quite easily by a new vision of society or nature itself. A vulnerable society could be the downfall of the human race. Man is constantly searching for stability and happiness, and he believes that he may find it in a perfect society, however, it is merely temporary. In conclusion, it is proposed that a perfect society makes progression unobtainable, and is peaceful, free of differences, and defenseless by nature.
When striving for perfection in society, body and mind, man is contributing is being unkind to his future. Therefore, man’s vision of perfection is unattainable in society, body and mind. Paragraph 2 Physical beauty is a matter of perspective. Firstly, the ideal body is nonexistent because the vision of perfection changes over time. Tally and Shay look at old magazines and are disgusted by the Rusties’ idea of beauty: “‘That’s funny, as in strange,’ Tally said. ‘So this is what people looked like before the first pretty? How could anyone stand to open their eyes? ’” (Westerfeld 189)
Tally’s disgust towards history’s thoughts on the ideal body display the ridiculousness of the past visions of perfection. In Tally’s era, her perspective of the perfect ideal body opposes the previous era’s in the past like the Rusties. Secondly, physical perfection is unnecessary from some people’s point of view. Tally is creating a ‘pretty’ Shay on a computer program, making Shay upset: “‘What do you mean ‘get it right’, Tally? Maybe I think my face is already right! ’” (Westerfeld 42) Though Shay is brought up in a society that brainwashes everyone into thinking they are ugly, she believes in her beauty.
Her beauty is based more on her own personal perspective, rather than on others’ opinions or ideas. The concept that there could be a universal idea of “perfection” in physical beauty is not plausible to Shay. Thirdly, it is unfair to judge a person based on their physical appearance. The personality of a person should be the main factor influencing how other people judge them, not their physical appearance. However, if someone is raised among a society with strong opinions on how physical appearance should look, that may influence their opinions of other people.
During Tally’s stay in the Smoke David calls Tally beautiful, causing her to tell him all the reasons how it is not true: “‘I mean no one can really be… you see, biologically, There’re certain things we all-’ the words choked off. ‘You really think I’m beautiful? (Westerfeld 262) David is able to see someone’s beauty before surgery because he was raised in the Smoke and not the city, so he is not affected by the government’s decisions on beauty and perfection. Therefore, his perspective on beauty is not limited to physical traits for “Perfection is boring.
If a face doesn’t have mistakes, it’s nothing. ” (Aucoinbut) His life in the Smoke allows him to have open opinions towards peoples’ personalities before their beauty. Whatever era someone might live in the vision of perfection is ever-changing and the lifestyle people have effect their views and opinions greatly, with many discarding the idea of perfection as unnecessary. All views on physical beauty depend on their perspective. Paragraph 3 Uniformity of thinking may make for less conflict but it limits the innovation and social growth making the controlled mind imperfect .
Firstly, performing an operation that seeks to achieve perfection by limiting the ability to think unique thoughts makes the mind imperfect because it destroys creativity and free will. In the book the Uglies, David voices his opinion of the “pretty surgery” to Tally. “Maybe it’s not so complicated. Maybe the reason war and all that other stuff went away is that there are no more controversies, no disagreements, and no people demanding change. Just masses of smiling pretties, and a few people left to run things…. ecoming pretty doesn’t just change the way you look … it changes the way you think. ”(Westerfeld 254) The right to think independently is taken away from the people of Pretty Ville without their knowledge when doctors alter their brains during the “pretty surgery”. The goal is to create the “perfect mind” from the government’s perspective. David finds this uniformity disturbing because he lives in The Smoke where everyone thinks independently and creativity is encouraged. He sees the Pretties’ mind as confined and therefore imperfect. Maybe it’s not so complicated. Maybe the reason war and all that other stuff went away is that there are no more controversies, no disagreements, no people demanding change. Just masses of smiling pretties, and a few people left to run things…. becoming pretty doesn’t just change the way you look … it changes the way you think. ”(Westerfeld 254) Secondly, using surgery to make the “perfect” mind can also have negative effects such as changing someone’s opinion. If you change someone’s mind you change their entire perspective.
After Shay becomes pretty and gets a lesion in her brain, she is no longer angry with Tally. “Of course Shay’s blessing Was meaningless. It wasn’t Forgiveness, just brain damage. ” (Westerfeld 366). After Shay’s brain is changed, she no longer feels the way she did about Tally and being pretty. When someone’s brain is changed, a part of them is taken away. Lesions are similar to drugs in our current society. Both drugs and lesions numb your senses and can have you make decisions that are not stable or can cause you to be persuaded to become a follower.
The only way that the Pretty’s will follow the “government” is the lesions that make them think the same. Thirdly, every individual’s opinion of the perfect mind is different. David again questions the government’s tactics for mind control, “You don’t believe all that crap do you-that there is only one way to look, and everyone programed to agree on it” (Westerfeld 111). He does not believe that a limited mind is perfect mind. The government believes that if the majority of people are programmed to follow the unprogrammed leaders, the world would be perfect.
In fact, the leaders remove the lesions in selected people in order to allow them to think independently and innovatively to progress their society. Thus, it could be argued that the perfect or the desired mind is the untampered mind. Overall, less conflict may result from uniformity of thinking however, this is far from the perfect mind as free will, and creativity individuality are limited. Further it can be argued that higher value is placed on a mind that is free to think independently and innovatively but this is also far from perfect. Conclusion
The goal to create perfection in society, body, and mind is unfeasible. However unfeasible this goal may be, every society is always striving for something better, which is of no use to mankind. Though we strive for what may be ‘better’, everyone’s view of physical beauty is a matter of their perspective on the matter. In a perfect society, these perspectives are the same, and despite the fact that it is easier to manage, everyone thinking in uniform is not perfect. In our current society everyone strives to become perfect based on the influence of the media.
This leads to many dangerous conditions such as anorexia. The intensity of our race for perfection will only intensify, as has happened in the past 50 years. We may end up being like the people in Uglies sooner than we realise. Works Cited * Wyndham, John. “The Chrysalids. ” London: Penguin Books, 1995. 200. 9 April 2013. * Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies. New York: Simon Pulse, 2005. 6 April 2013. Bibliography * Wyndham, John. “The Chrysalids. ” London: Penguin Books, 1995. 200. 9 April 2013. * Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies. New York: Simon Pulse, 2005. 6 April 2013. * Thesaurus. com
Cite this Uglies Novel Grade 9
Uglies Novel Grade 9. (2016, Oct 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/uglies-novel-essay-grade-9/