Scott Westerfeld Forum

Scott's Books => Uglies / Pretties / Specials / Extras => Topic started by: Khoela on May 03, 2012, 07:18:29 AM

Title: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 03, 2012, 07:18:29 AM
I've noticed that the symbolism in the Hunger Games has been discussed pretty extensively, but I haven't seen much for Uglies. I was wondering if anyone has noticed any.
I'll start:
David represents reality. Zane represents the "fantasy" world that Tally is living in due to the lesions. Tally liked being beautiful and popular, but in order to have reality back, she has to give it up. Shay introduced Tally to David, who represents reality, in the same way that Shay showed her that being "pretty" wasn't how reality worked. When Tally "stole" him from Shay, she was also stealing Shay's reality, because shortly after, they got caught and were turned pretty.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 03, 2012, 09:18:03 AM
Lets see...refference, reality, carry the two...yeah, this sounds about right.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Luna Lovegood on May 04, 2012, 02:40:21 PM
Hmm. I didn't feel like their was as much symbolism in Uglies as there was in HG, but you brig up a good point.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 04, 2012, 02:52:32 PM
I dunno. Haven't read HG. Probably wont. I'm waiting for Scrivener's Moon to come out.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 04, 2012, 08:42:03 PM
A lot of the things people take as basic plot points were symbolic. Someone on Tumblr explained how there is no "team Peeta" or "team Gale" because Peeta represents hope and Gale represents the past. (The post is right here: http://etosaurus.tumblr.com/post/19975922709/anonymous-asked-i-know-you-love-katniss-and-peeta) I think Uglies might have a lot more than we've already examined.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 05, 2012, 12:37:47 AM
Probably does. Symbolism can be deviously subtle.
And seriously; enough with the "teams" already. Actually, have you noticed it's always the dudes? Never heard of a "Team Hester" or "Team Kate", now have we?
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 05, 2012, 04:37:48 AM
It's because the majority of YA fans are girls, so the majority of main characters are girls, so the majority of love triangles revolve around the girl. It if revolves around the guy but a girl is the MC, the other girl is automatically an antagonist. If the MC is a guy, and he's torn between two girls, he looks like a player.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 05, 2012, 04:45:35 AM
And apperently being a "player" is bad. Well, now I have to write one with a guy torn between two girls. Oh, I'll make them both really unsocial and ugly by most people's standards! Kind of how I'm fictionally torn between Hester Shaw and Fever Crumb...
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 05, 2012, 04:49:43 AM
Haha xD I don't get how girls can do that, but guys can't.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 05, 2012, 05:35:22 AM
The hell if I know either. Maybe because it's tied in with the whole "women are weaker" thing, and a guy choosing between two girls would be considered slightly sexist? I dunno. Really, the only reason people like love triangles is because they tie into the animalistic part of our brains that are still wired for cave living. Back then, males would actually physically fight over females. This is just the modern-day equivilent.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 05, 2012, 05:44:00 AM
There's also supposed to be the excitement of seeing who the character chooses in the end. Sometimes it's also symbolic, but that's not true of all of them, or even most.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Abby-la on May 05, 2012, 06:16:55 AM
The tracker locket represents Tally's old beliefs in a way.  She got it for the mission that would ensure she became pretty.  When she got to the smoke and her beliefs changed, she threw the locket in the fire.

Zane's death represents the tragedy of the Deigo War.  I mean, he's not the only person who died, but he's the only one who really affected Tally, and the only one we really hear about.

Dr. Cable herself really represents the whole system.  When Tally cures her, that's when everything starts to fall apart.  Some of that might have been the power she had, but curing Dr. Cable also represents a new beginning.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 05, 2012, 06:24:36 AM
Also, Cable could be a physical representation of science gone wrong. Which is funny, cause the manga version of her looks like Dr. Halsey from Halo...
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Paris - Sensei on May 05, 2012, 10:55:53 AM
I havent really thought about symbolism in books but now that you mention it you are so right
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 05, 2012, 10:59:27 AM
Symbolism is really interesting. I never really understood it until earlier this year, when I started seeing it in books I liked rather than just school books.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Paris - Sensei on May 05, 2012, 12:29:44 PM
Yeah defiantly. It annoys me when teachers assign books that are really uninteresting
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 05, 2012, 12:31:19 PM
Especially since the point you're supposed to be getting is totally missed.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 05, 2012, 12:41:10 PM
No one "normal" really reads them even if they're given them.
Raise your hand if you actually read one of the books you were assigned for class
(Me)
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 05, 2012, 12:46:11 PM
I read them all, but didn't enjoy them all. 1984 is the best, though.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 05, 2012, 12:53:50 PM
Big Brother is Watching. Still gives me shivers today.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 05, 2012, 09:55:20 PM
The whole thing about newspeak kind of freaked me out, removing the vocabulary of revolution :O
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Paris - Sensei on May 05, 2012, 10:10:59 PM
yeah the point is lost. I never read the books the teachers give us. Maybe I'll read the first chapter but then stop there. After that I look online for the answers. I can never read a book I dont enjoy
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 05, 2012, 10:18:09 PM
And sparknotes makes that way too easy...

Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: tridecagirl on May 06, 2012, 01:40:28 AM
Did someone say Hunger Games symbolism? I typed half an essay on it on another board. Copy and paste... done.



*huge crazy stare*

We were talking about the nature of revenge last night, and my IB analyze to the point of no return brain hit on THIS - the reason why the love triangle in THG would have ended the way it did whether we liked it or not. Observe.

Book 1 - The descriptions and symbolism basically make Katniss stuck between a boy of life and a boy of death.
Gale - associated with hunting (which is death and also hearkens to the Hunger Games she hates). She also considers running away with him. The only pairs of runaways we heard about died.
Peeta - Well, he makes bread, which is a traditional symbol of life. He's also associated with dandelions - rebirth, springtime.
Prim - Katniss says her sister is "the one person in the world I'm sure I love." Prim is basically her reason for living. This is important later.

Book 2 - President Snow - Katniss keeps herself going in the Quarter Quell imagining killing him. A quest for revenge has mostly replaced Prim in her impetus in life.
Gale - still associated with the same things
Peeta - She's now willing to give her life for him. Also, he gives her a pearl - symbolism of life, regenration, and love.

Book 3
Prim - After Prim dies, Katniss' sole aim in life is revenge. Like many, after she accomplishes this she has nothing left to live for and wants to die.
Gale - Now trapping and killing humans, he's associated with the Games and the death Katniss hates so much. Also, after she kills Coin, she looks to him for DEATH. Gale throughout the books has been associated with death and escape.
Peeta - When Katniss tries to kill herself, he stops her, becoming her literal link to life. He's trying to replace Prim as a reason to live - not healthy, not the only thing - but at the moment it's enough. Throughout the books he represents life, hope, and holding on.

*deep breath* So if you look at the symbolism... yep. Totally unavoidable. In the end, Katniss chooses life over death. Which is generally my preference also
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 02:11:42 AM
Someone on Tumblr wrote something similar to that, but she didn't catch a lot of the symbolism you just pointed out--I didn't even think about the pearl.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 03:31:56 AM
The whole thing about newspeak kind of freaked me out, removing the vocabulary of revolution :O
Yeah, that was some freaky clart. Also, yes, Sparknotes really makes reading the books pointless.

And...I haven't read Hunger Games, so I'll just stay out of this one.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 03:33:40 AM
It's really useful for Shakespeare, because reading it and not seeing it acted out is really hard to comprehend.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 03:45:53 AM
Oh yeah. Though really, watching Shakespear is just as fun. Thank you YouTube.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 04:26:33 AM
That's how I got through Merchant of Venice this year.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 04:35:54 AM
You watch the movie or a stage adaptation?
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 05:12:14 AM
Both, the movie in school and the stage adaption on youtube.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 05:14:54 AM
Oh cool. You got a double does of it then.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 05:22:07 AM
Yup! We had a sub one day, and we were supposed to read act V for homework, and during class answer questions for it "In groups of three to five." My normal group of four was missing people, so we combined with another group that was missing people, and then a good four or five more people gathered around. My friend and I couldn't figure our why everyone wanted to work with us until we asked who had actually read the act and no one raised their hand. It was pretty sad.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 05:28:08 AM
Wow, another thing that's happened to me! Except my ENTIRE group went missing (they all got sick, like about half the school at the time) so I asked who wanted me to join. Just about everyone raised their hands. Why? Because I was the only person who'd done ANYTHING relating to the assignment. Not just sad, depressing.
Sometimes it sucks to be a literarry nerd.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 06:28:06 AM
Yup. The way we ran it was me and the other girl who actually read discussed the answers and everyone else had to write down what we said, and if they missed it, it was their fault. We had a pretty captive audience.
Yesterday in the production class I'm the aid for they were playing a game to review film history, and the one nerdy girl in the class literally knew every answer, so I decided her team had an advantage and let her explain the answers no one got in the end.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 06:31:56 AM
That was different than what I did. Basically, I just sat there like I was a boss and had the guys try and bribe me for the answers. My total haul; 45 dollars, a busted cell phone (which I proptly took the battery out of and sold for 15 more dollars), Skittles, a free lunch coupon for the cafeteria, two lighers, and a really long, deep French kiss from a cheerleader.
Sounds like fun. Closest I did to that was the "test" my history sub ran on the day he was there. He showed a video that was pretty much American fighter aircraft doing cool thigns to patriotic music (sent from Texas by his son, apperently) and he basically told us to call out what aircraft they were. No one in the class new SHIT about airplanes...except me. So I pretty much just called em all out and everyone was in awe of my areonatical knowlage.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 06:36:32 AM
Haha! I should do that sometime, sounds like a good way to make money. When I was a freshman, one of the upperclassman football players in my french class used to "call" me for partner assignments because I had a habit of translating everything out loud, so you could pretty much write down everything I said and be right.
I asked the production teacher if I could give the class a hint about the Muybridge question, and my hint was "He produced the first porn films." The teacher and the one nerd started laughing, and everyone else was just confused.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 06:42:24 AM
Huh. Wish I had someone like that for Italian. Oh well.
Heh. Don't you just love when that happens? You know something no one else does?
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 07:01:38 AM
Yup! :D
I'm pretty good with languages, but I sometimes mix up my German with my French--there are a lot of words between them that look the same but mean something totally different. I'm also tempted to write french words like "Finissons" as "Fini▀ons." My French teacher, who speaks German also, finds that really funny.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 07:06:10 AM
Same with Spanish and Italian. They're all based basically on Latin, I think.
German is smexy too.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 07:27:35 AM
German is awesome. I speak it a lot in French class. I also go out of my way to have conversations with people in German, even more than in French.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 07:30:01 AM
I'd do that with Italian, which I speak some of, but no one I know speaks it outside my familiy.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 07:34:36 AM
That's annoying. I'm trying to learn Polish so I can visit my cousins in Warsaw.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 09:49:53 AM
Cool. I might learn French too. Probably going to Europe this summer.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 10:17:24 AM
Lucky! I wanna go to Europe. My goal for languages is French, German, Polish, Spanish and Russian to fluency.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 11:01:34 AM
Wow, lots o languages then.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 11:06:21 AM
I love them. And the thing about languages is that they never end. You could study your whole life and never learn every word of every language.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 11:52:42 AM
Dead useful they are too.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 12:00:00 PM
True as well. The more people you can communicate with, the better.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Straif on May 06, 2012, 12:00:47 PM
Eseccilly in our jet-locked world.
Title: Re: Symbolism in Uglies
Post by: Khoela on May 06, 2012, 12:03:33 PM
Yup!