The Influence the society has on cultures around the world is very manipulative. In the short story “Fat Girl” the author, Andre Dubus, gives insight to the damage that can be done when adult role models force false body images on their young children. Following the forceful nature of upper class society, Louise mother forcefully puts a negative self body image in Louis mind. Dubus’ “The Fat Girl” distinctively shows the destructive way society views food addiction and how it can sometimes persuade women to follow bad examples. Dubus uses Louise’s story to discover significant themes and ideas about the relations between the individual and society. Dubus explores how people can be forced into entirely different life styles based upon society’s influence. This story gives an exact experience of how pressure to conform to the image that others view as ideal can cause a person to act opposite of their own personal goals and desires. The author shows the reader the life of a child whose mother has forced her to believe that she is destine to become overweight. Throughout the entire short story Louise’s mother pressures her to change herself, how she looks, how she acts, to please society. Louis mom states, “You must start watching what you eat, her mother would say. I can see you have my metabolism” (Dubus, 134). Her mother’s drive to change her daughter escalades throughout the Dunbar 2
story and ends up forcing her to go on a diet. Not wanting to have to let her mom down or fight with her Louise agrees to the diet, while secretly eating candy in her room alone. In addition to her low self esteem with her image, Louise also worries about her capability of finding happiness in a man. Of course her mother initiated this terrible thought with comments such as, “In five years you’ll be in high school and if you’re fat the boys won’t like you; they won’t ask you out” (Dubus 134). The mom shows the general feeling of social upper class outcast that the...
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