While dystopias can contain various characteristics that make them what they are, there are a couple aspects that fascinate me. One aspect in particular that catches my attention is the fact that many authors of dystopian novels criticize a certain type of political system, a norm of a society, or a current trend that their society is leaning towards (“Dystopias”). Today, many judge people based on looks and what they see fit as being pretty. In Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, he criticizes this aspect of society by making the citizens of the dystopia go through a transformation (plastic surgery) to make themselves all pretty. They do not even get to have a choice about what they look like; the government decides everything for them. In this novel, society holds one, single definition of what pretty is and pressures everyone into becoming the picture of the definition. Westerfeld takes the novel to an extreme. He relays the idea that if some of us keep encouraging plastic surgery and being “perfect,” they will never achieve perfection. We cannot keep moving towards surgery and every available option to “fix” us; we are perfect in our own way. In another part of the novel, Westerfeld criticizes the world with his use of the Rusties. These people are more concerned with making a profit off of anything they can rather than caring for the environment or negative consequences. Westerfeld stressed the problems in our world today that need to be fixed, and we should try to not head toward these outcomes.
In this photo, a beautiful girl is about to go through plastic surgery most likely because she wants to fulfill society’s definition of pretty.
Another aspect of a dystopia that particularly interests me is that a dystopia is an illusion of a perfect world. The surgeries that are supposed to make the citizens “perfect” actually cause a problem. Many in Uglies don’t see the problem with having the surgery because they don’t know anything outside of their society. The citizens are told what is “right,” but that is not necessarily what is right. It can connect with the world today because many people are attempting to transform themselves for various reasons, and I need to find out why. Uglies consists of an illusion of a perfect society and criticizes many aspects of society, making it one of my favorite dystopian novels.
“Dystopias: Definition and Characteristics.” ReadWriteThink. NCTE/IRA, 2006, http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson926/Definitio nCharacteristics.pdf. Accessed 21 May 2017.