The Uglies is a novel that takes place in a supposed utopia. Everybody looks forward to their sixteenth birthday, not because it is when they are allowed to drive, but because it means the beginning of a whole different life style. A person's sixteenth birthday in this novel, brings a life changing surgery making them a "pretty". "Pretties" lead a perfect life, never doing any work, partying all the time, and most importantly being flawlessly beautiful. Until this day however, people in this world are considered ugly and have to live apart from the pretties. Tally Youngblood is the protagonist of this novel and like any other ugly, is looking forward to this life style. It is all she has ever dreamed of until she meets a new friend named Shay. Shay has a different attitude towards this surgery and possibly a little more insight into what it does to a person. On the eve of Shay's birthday, she runs away leaving officers suspicious of Tally. Tally is not allowed to get her surgery until she finds Shay and brings her back, and leads the officials (also known as specials) to a place called the smoke full of people who ran away from the life of a pretty and instead choose to live a life of honest work in uncivilized conditions. Tally learns many things from the people she meets in the smoke such as what it means to like people for more than their appearance or even despite their appearance. She also learns things about what becoming a pretty does to your brain. People who get the surgery no longer have the freedom to think for themselves and are programed to think a certain way and never question the way in which they think. After learning this, Tally is then faced with a decision. She could 1) Betray the people of the smoke and get the operation to turn her into a pretty, or 2) Stay with the people of the smoke and never become a pretty.
1) If you were Tally which choice would you make and why?
2) Why do you think the surgeons choose to do this to a persons brain when undergoing the pretty operation?
3) Could something as superficial as everyone being pretty really bring peace to the world? Why or why not?