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Victor Baltazar
Professor Ahn
English 114B
03, March 2014
Pretty Identity

Many young adults today feel lost, uncertain of their identities or their futures.
Knowing where to go in life, starts with knowing who you are (Peter Smalls, Who Are
You? Finding Your Identity in the Modern World). The purpose in life is finding out our
own true identity. Everyone in the world has there own identity, it could be similar to
someone elses but in a different style, giving it its own identity. Just like colors, there is
the color blue, which is a basic color, but then again there is light blue, royal blue, or dark
blue, similar, but different. They all come from the color blue but with a different tone.
Just like humans, they all can be similar but different in certain ways. Identity is the
condition of being oneself or its self. In the novel Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, the
Uglies are always told as a little kid that they are nothing if they arent pretty. Being
pretty is being perfect and thats what they all need to be when they turn the age of
sixteen. They grew up knowing nothing from the real world just the society they grew up
in or until they started exploring and discovering the truth about becoming pretty. Finding
out your true identity is based on the society, peer pressure, and developing your own
Society plays a big role in building our true identity. In the novel, Tallys real
identity was based on the society that surrounded her. As a young little girl she was told
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and shown that being pretty is everything. For example, She could see New Pretty Town
through her open window (Westerfeld 8). In this quote it demonstrates the view of
society from a young girls window in which they were expected to soon be part of.
Society saw every human being born in their place an ugly and they were expected to
convert into a pretty at the age of sixteen. This age to them meant that it was the age of
maturity or coming of age. Society build Tallys identity and Uglies by brain washing
them in a way of making them believe that becoming pretty was the right thing to do.
Society in the novel has the Uglies right next to New Pretty town.
This strategy is used so the Uglies could see what they are missing out on
because they havent gotten the surgery. Society influences the self through its shared
language and meanings that enable a person to take the role of the other, engage in social
interaction, and reflect upon oneself as an object. (Stets and Burke 1) This quote
demonstrates how people grow up in a society and learn everything from it to be
involved. People follow the way society is build in order to fit in. When following the
standards and ways of society, people then feel and are seen as objects that can be shaped
in anyway in order to fit in to there ways. Just like the Uglies they follow society and
wait till the age of sixteen to be involved with the Pretties in New Pretty Town.
Along with society there is peer pressure which is an influence from a member of
ones peer group. Peer pressure sometimes shapes our identity and is seen everywhere in
the world, like schools, streets and home. For example, Tally was between following the
tradition of society and becoming pretty or leaving Uglie Town to go with Shay to
Smokes. Well, I want to be happy, and looking like a real person is the first step.
(Westerfeild 75) Shay is inviting Tally to run away from the transformation from ugly to
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pretty. She thinks becoming pretty just like everyone else is not right, so she wants to run
away because she believes looking alike and thinking alike wont make her happy.
The next quote is a quote from the bible from Hebrews and it talks about how we
should help each other and remind each other to be goo and follow the good peoples
footsteps. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works
(Hebrews 10:24) this quote demonstrates that everyone need to help each other to do the
right thing. But sometimes people are based on society that when someone is different
they are wrong. For example, Shay is different because she wants to run away from the
operation and she wants to save Tally. Tally is so based on what society does that she
thinks that Shay is crazy. When she leaves to the Smoke, Tally is heart broken and feels
betrayed just like how she felt when Peris became pretty before her. This lead her to
different paths and she didnt know which one to take because she was lost and confused.
Picking your own path is hard sometimes because you want to fit in with others.
In the novel Uglies it was hard for Tally finding out her true identity because of all the
betrayal she had gone through with Peris and Shay that it lead her to different roads. She
didnt know weather to stay and become pretty like everyone else does or go with her
friend and ditch the society. She ended up staying but ended up getting in to trouble with
the authorities that turn them pretty. They want to figure out where shay went and Tally
leaves to Smoke. Growing up as a little kid we always grow up with our best friend, we
do everything together until that one-day. Your best friend decides to take a different
route and go another way. Just like when I graduated from the eight grade all of my
friends separated and ended up going to different high schools. It felt bad but we all had
our different roles that we wanted to succeed in.
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Finally, Shay said the words Tally had been thinking, Im going to lose you,
arent I? Youre the one whos running away. This quote is when Shay is leaving
Uglie town to leave to the Smokes, Tally felt betrayed because of this. Tally and Shay
had talked about turning pretty together and living in Pretty town, but Shay decided to
leave. Tally felt betrayed with Peris because when she went to go visit him at New Pretty
town he really didnt care. He showed no emotion of happiness and told her to go back
home and to not get into any trouble. This has Tally really confused and thinking about
what she should do, but at the end Tally ends up turning Pretty.
Tally went threw society, peer pressure and she ended up picking her route to find
her true identity. This identifies that she was more than a clone she was seen by the
guardians as more of a human because of the way she acted. She was born in a society
where being pretty meant everything. She was put threw peer pressure giving her
different view and opening up her mind to out side of society. She went threw betrayal
that got her confused and thinking about what she wanted to do twice and picking her
route. Life is hard and finding out your true identity just depends on yourself and what
you like to do. Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever
known. (Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters) Your true identity is based on the people
you have met and have been around for a long time but it is on you how you make it
different from everyone else

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Work Cited
"Personal Identity & Peer Pressure." N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2014.

"Quotes About Identity." (655 Quotes). N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2014.

Stets, Jan E., and Peter J. Burke. "A Sociological Approach to Self and Identity*." N.p.,
n.d. Web. 01 Mar. 2014.

Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies. New York: Simon Pulse, 2005. Print.