by Scott Westerfeld
Uglies Coming of Age Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"Home," she repeated. Just last night, that word had changed its meaning in her mind. And now home was destroyed. It lay around her in ruins, burning and captured. (34.32)
Coming of age in Uglies is about finding a place to live and do good work. Unfortunately for Tally, she comes to feel at home in the Smoke just before the Smoke goes up in, well, smoke.
"So pugnacious, you uglies. Well, you'll be growing up soon."
A chill went down Tally's spine at the words. To Dr. Cable, "growing up" meant having your brain changed. (35.37-8)
We usually think of growing up as something that happens naturally. You don't need help to grow older. In fact, lots of doctors in Hollywood will help you grow younger. But in Tally's world, people can force each other into "growing up." But maybe there are less extreme versions of helping people to grow up, like when Tally and Shay argue or when David tells Tally about the world—aren't they helping each other to grow up?
"Yeah, I know what you mean. But that was all ugly stuff. Crazy love and jealousy and needing to rebel against the city. Every kid's like that. But you grow up, you know?"
"You grew up because of an operation? Doesn't that strike you as weird?" (46.57-8)
It certainly strikes us as weird that Shay has a complete change of view after an operation. But let's try to see things from her side: at one point, she was full of out of control emotions and "raging with hormones" (48.18). Now she can relax and feel better. From her POV, growing up is a good thing no matter how it happened.