Pretties (The Uglies) Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Pretties (The Uglies) Symbols, Allegory and Motifs

Tally's Smoke sweater

Tally and Shay decide to go to the costume party organized by the Crims dressed as the people from the Smoke. Tally finds out that she still kept the handmade sweater from the Smoke. The sweater is made out of various patches of fabric and it looks odd and certainly adds an interesting touch to her costume. The sweater symbolizes the beginning of Tally breaking the chains of the pretty life and starting to remember her true self. It also shows that Tally's subconsciously still holding onto her true self even after the change.

Pretty language

The language of the pretties in New Pretty Town is quite distinct. There are words and phrases like pretty-making meaning that something is pleasant, bubbly meaning being aware of oneself and one's memories, etc. This simplistic use of the language signifies the mental change that comes with the operation-the mind is prettified or rather simplified.

Princess in a tower

Throughout the novel, Tally has a dream of being a princess trapped in a tower. The princess spends her time looking at herself in the mirror, but soon gets bored of that life and wants to escape. But once she jumps out of the tower there is no going back. The princes vary through her dreams; sometimes being ugly, sometimes pretty and sometimes both. These dreams are a representation of Tally escaping the pretty life and her struggle to choose between the two boys in her life.


In a part of the novel called "Cutters" Tally witnesses her friend Shay, alongside some of her other Crim friends, taking part in a ritual where they cut their arms to make themselves bleed. This starts happening after Shay discovers about the cure and remembers the truth of what happened before. Tally realizes that Cutters are doing this to stay bubbly, to feel alive. This is a significant allegory of self-harm, a quite a sensitive topic to discuss, but the message is rather clear in this one.

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