Group Essay on Uglies
By Claire, Tara, Tarah, Genevieve, and Soojin
“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...
Bibliography: * Wyndham, John. "The Chrysalids." London: Penguin Books, 1995. 200. 9 April 2013.
* Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies. New York: Simon Pulse, 2005. 6 April 2013.
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