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Uglies

Uglies

by Scott Westerfeld

Man and the Natural World Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

What Tally really dreaded was running out of toilet paper. Her only roll was already half-gone, and she rationed it strictly now, counting the sheets. And every day, she smelled a little worse. (19.39)

Sometimes, the fake world has some things that we like better, like toilet paper and hot showers. Now all we need is a world where we can have toilet paper without mandatory pretty surgery. (Wait, isn't that the world we live in today?)

Quote #5

Nothing met her gaze but hills, blinding white with flowers, and the glimmering river climbing up into the mountains. It all looked so peaceful, a different world from the one that the flying machine had shattered last night. (20.36)

Here's example of Westerfeld's love of irony: Tally sees flowers and says "how nice, much better than the strange helicopter." But the flowers are actually deadly to the entire environment, and the helicopter is actually trying to save the world. (True, "saving the world" takes the form of burning large parts of it, but maybe that's Westerfeld's irony, too.)

Quote #6

"About three hundred years ago, some Rusty figured a way to engineer the species to adapt to wider conditions. She messed with the genes to make them propagate more easily." (22.43)

The orchids are probably the biggest example of people messing with the natural world—er, except for the pretty surgery. As the rangers make clear to Tally, the problem started when someone altered the flowers, and the alteration worked a little too well. Does this mean that all human alterations to the natural world are ultimately bad? Or does it just mean that some alterations get out of control?

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