The adventure novel The Uglies is a story about characters, whose life is full of desperation, social classes and appearances. When it’s time for Tally Youngblood to turn ‘Pretty’, she is caught between different aspects going on in her life. In the novels The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Jay Gatsby and Tally Youngblood are desperate to be part of the upper class. The societies in the two novels have similar settings and expectations. In those novels, the Buchanan’s and the Pretties present the theme appearance vs. reality. The Great Gatsby and The Uglies are both stories that show how society’s standards and expectations affect characters’ mentalities with consequences for humanity.
Jay Gatsby and Tally Youngblood are desperate to be part of the upper class where they feel the need to change themselves to fit in. At the beginning of the novel The Great Gatsby, Jay Gatsby is a very mysterious character that the reader is lead to believe that he is from a high social class where he is accepted by everyone. But as the book goes along, we are revealed that it turns out to be far from the truth. They make it seem like he is part of the upper class because he is known for the lavish parties he throws each weekend at his mansion in West Egg to which people long to be invited and for all his fancy clothing and cars. As it’s described in the book, the parties were incredible and everyone is having fun;
"The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introduction forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names." (Fitzgerald, 42)
But he was really just doing all of this because he is feeling pressured to be accepted by the upper class from East Egg and to be loved again by Daisy Buchanan. He even gets accused of gaining his wealth by bootlegging which was true. With certainty, Tom addresses Gatsby directly: “I found out what your ‘drug stores’ were.” He spoke rapidly. “He and this Wolfshiem bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter. That’s one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, and I wasn’t far wrong.” (127) This shows that he will do anything with desperation to change himself to be part of the upper class. Like Jay Gatsby, Tally Youngblood feels the pressure and desperation to change herself into a Pretty to be part of New Pretty town. In the beginning of the novel, Tally felt like she wasn’t appreciated unless she was a ‘pretty’ but that all changed as the book went along. But her mindset at the beginning of the story is very similar to Jay Gatsby’s mindset towards being accepted. Tally and along with all the other uglies would spend days making morphs of all the different ways they could look were a pretty. She is obsessed with the idea of being a pretty. She tells Shay: "…I don’t want to be ugly all my life. I want those perfect eyes and lips, and for everyone to look at me and gasp. And for everyone who sees me to think Who's that? and want to get to know me, and listen to what I say."(Westerfeld, 89) She also assured a new ugly in the eye: "…Two weeks of killer sunburn is worth a lifetime of being gorgeous." (95) It’s the feeling of being accepted by the upper class that keeps Tally and Gatsby obsessing with wanting to change themselves. The societies in The Great Gatsby and The Uglies have very similar settings and expectations. In The Great Gatsby, East Egg represents the old aristocracy and West Egg embodies the newly rich. There is a barrier that the water creates between these worlds in symbolic of the barrier that keeps these people apart from one another. The group that everyone is desperate to be part of would be West Egg for its wealth. Especially for Gatsby, he is trying…