by Scott Westerfeld
reviewed by Ruolin Li
Pretty or Ugly
There was a special world in this book which name is Uglies. People lived in this perfect world would all have an operation when they were 16th. Everything seemed so perfect and beautiful in Tally’s life, except her appearance. After her 16th birthday, she would have a special chance that can be pretty. But Tally didn’t realize there were big problems that were hiding under the beautiful appearances of this world.
Girls want to be pretty, because it is the nature, just like boys love adventures. I was once a girl who really wanted to be pretty. So I asked my mother that why I looked so ugly. But my mother said: “The most precious thing of a girl is not her appearance. That is her kind heart and attitude to her life.” At that time, I was an 8 years old child so I couldn’t understand the meaning of this sentence. But now I have a very deeply reflection of my mother’s expectations. Then I found a similar opinion, which was an old word from China: “Peoples’ appearances are made up of their hearts.” When I grow up, I gradually understand this word and my mother’s wisdom.
Appearance is not a reason or evidence for people to judge another. But people can’t disagree that pretty girls and handsome boys are really attractive. Because human love beautiful things by nature, such as scenes, arts, dances, buildings, flowers, and animals. I agree the idea that I prefer beautiful people, but I will never use their appearances to judge them. The differences between people’s reality and appearance are two completely opposite parts that really complicated, but lots of people used to mix them. So does Tally.
Tally had a good friend called Shay. She was a special and strange girl that Tally had ever seen. Shay was the only one who didn’t curious about the operation and disliked to have it. People were laughing at Tally and Shay when they went to a dance party that others all had the operation and looked super pretty. Tally thought she cannot endure these bad words, but Shay didn’t feel angry with these.
In Tally’s mind, Shay was an unusual, extraordinary and mysterious girl. So Tally had a type of thought was that she would never understand Shay, especially when they were talking about the operation. In Tally’s world, pretty’s price is pain. After people finished the operation, they “felt like a killer sunburn for a couple of weeks.” (Westerfeld. 97). Shay was really afraid of this terrible pain but Tally strongly agreed: “Because it all comes down to this: Two weeks of killer sunburn is worth a lifetime of being gorgeous.”(Westerfeld. 98). I was so pity because I couldn’t understand Tally’s courage. Everything in the world has a balance. So if you want to gain something, you should pay for it. Even the government in Tally’s world gave everyone a free operation, but they still need to endured the extremely pain for couple weeks.
Then, Tally have to had make a hard decision——between friendship and pretty. Tally wanted be pretty but she also didn’t want to betray her friend. In this time, smokies gave her a new view of this world. In the beginning of this novel, Tally knew that peopleall should be pretty by the operation. But there were still types of people who didn’t want to be pretty at all. They were hiding in Smoke and far away from the pretties’ society. In this time, Tally’s humanity was really complex and changeful. Tally felling love with David, who was a Smokies and very kind and soft. Tally was hesitating about her mission and friendship. But she gave herself up to be pretty and helped Smokies and Shay escaped. I was really excited because this time Tally didn’t made a decision because of appearance. She realized that kind and evil are not belonging to either pretty or ugly. There are many bad person look pretty and many kind person look ugly. We cannot judge peoples’ values and characters from their appearances. But we can also choose what they look like, because there are the attitudes to out life.
A perfect world has its’ imperfect parts. A pretty person also has something not pretty. This is the balance of the world, like light always with dark. We should be confident, whatever you look pretty or ugly. We should love ourselves, because everyone is unique and special.