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by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

Tally blinked. Hot tears were forcing themselves into her eyes. Shay had wanted so much to keep her own face, to live on her own terms outside the city. But that desire had been extinguished. (45.36)

Shay will later say that she's not totally different: "Just because I'm pretty doesn't mean I'm totally boring" (45.44). But as far as Tally is concerned, the Shay they find in the city post-surgery isn't the same person at all. Not only did the surgery change Shay's face, but it changed her feelings about getting her face changed. Whoa.

Quote #8

Tally thought of the lesions on Shay's brain, the tiny cancers or wounds or whatever they were, that she didn't even know she had. They were in there somewhere, changing her friend's thoughts, warping her feelings, gnawing at the roots of who she was. Making her forgive Tally. (46.86)

The irony—oh, so much irony—of Tally's situation is that what changes her friend's identity also makes it possible for them to still be friends. That is, the city's surgery alters Shay's identity, but that alteration makes Shay not hate Tally anymore. Which raises lots of questions about friendship and identity, like, is it possible for people with strong identities to remain friends? Or is it easier for everyone to be friends in the city when they're pretty and brain damaged (and yes, a little drunk)?

Quote #9

Maddy had decided that the brain lesions couldn't be kept a secret anymore; every ugly had the right to know what the operation really entailed. Tally and the others spread the rumor among their city friends: Not just your face was changed by the knife. Your personality—the real you inside—was the price of beauty. (48.4)

Now, we're a little skeptical about the whole "real you inside"—even on the best of days, the "real you inside" is affected by a lot of things on the outside. (Ever notice how much happier people are on sunny days or when you don't have to write a paper for school?) But despite our skepticism, the Smokies aren't skeptical at all as they spread the story that the cost of a pretty appearance in Uglies is your identity, the "real you inside."

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