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Comparing Uglies and Divergent
Transcript of Comparing Uglies and Divergent
(Dauntless zombie simulation) Mild case of mind control
(Pretty brain lesions) Love!!!! David and Tally Four and Tris Tris' parents die Tally's parents don't die Heroines with low self-esteem Heroines have a daredevil best friend Shay Christina Heroines are trained to see
themselves as inferior Heroines crossed boundaries
to see someone they cared about Paris Caleb Divergent, by Veronica Roth, and Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld, are two remarkably different dystopian books on the surface. However they both share a lot of story elements if you dig a little deeper. Let's start with the similarities. The main characters, Tris and Tally, are both teenage girls with very low self-esteem. This may be due to the fact that they're trained to see themselves that way - Tris was in Abnegation, where vanity is highly discouraged. Tally, not quite 16, was labeled as an "ugly" and encouraged to see herself as so until she got the procedure to make herself attractive. In both stories, the government was very nicely and intricately organized. There is also a revolt against the government; In Tris' society some of the Erudite made an attempt to overthrow the government, and while it isn't successful it threw the entire place into chaos (except for Amity, who didn't get involved). In Tally's society, there isn't a direct revolt on the government, but the Smokies live outside the city defying all laws the government had laid down. When she threw her tracking device into a fire, Tally accidentally alerted the government to where the rebels were. In both stories there is a special ritual citizens go through at 16. In Tris' case this ritual includes the aptitude test and faction choosing ceremony. In Tally's case this is the operation to make her pretty. Both stories include mind control. In Divergent, it's more extreme, with the Erudite injecting the Dauntless with zombie simulation serum. In Uglies, it's more subtle - when 16 year olds get the pretty operation, they also have things put in their brain to keep them from getting too out of control. In both stories there's a sort of forbidden love thing going on. Tris hooked up with Four and Tally got together with David. Tally and Tris both have daredevil best friends. Tally has Shay and Tris has Christina. Both girls crossed government boundaries to see people they cared for. Tris illegally crossed into the Erudite compound to talk to Caleb. Tally illegally crossed into Pretty land to talk to her best childhood friend, Paris. Now onto the differences.
The government in Tally's world is a lot more oppressive than Tris'. The Special Circumstances officers hold a lot of power and are used to scare citizens into compliance. Meanwhile in Divergent, the Abnegation government, while secretive, are a lot less extreme. Tris' parents really cared for her cause and even went as far as to sacrifice their lives for her so she could save Erudite's genocidal plot. Tally's parents were quite oblivious to the government's plans and just sat in Pretty land happily. Let's look at the issues both books detail. Uglies exaggerates our obsession with being beautiful, and how society is so superficial that now character is judged by your looks.
In Divergent the clique movement was exaggerated. Cliques are taken to the extreme, with no cross-faction relationships allowed.
There was a lot of prejudice involved in both books. People that haven't had the pretty operation (uglies) are assumed to be awful and revolting. Meanwhile in Divergent everyone from every faction is stereotyped. Erudites are classified as evil geniuses. The Dauntless are classified as reckless, insane daredevils. The Candor are classified as arguers. The Abnegation are known as the selfless government goody-two-shoes. The Amity are just banjo-strumming farmer idiots.