Who is the narrator of "The Fat Girl" by Andre Dubus?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The narrator of The Fat Girl is a girl named Louise who feels like she is an outcast because she is fat.  Louise begins to get fat when she is young, and by college she is still overweight.  She feels pressure from society and family to lose the weight.  Pressure from her mother leads her to develop unhealthy, secretive eating habits.  She is unhappy with who she is. 

One of the main themes in this work is identity.  What makes us who we are?  Does what we look like define us? Louise is fat, and unhappy about it.  However, in college she loses a lot of weight with the help of her roommate.  She feels like she is someone else.  Once she marries and has a child, she gains the weight back.  She seems to want to be that person again, and want her husband to accept that person.

Another theme is the individual vs. society.  Louise is always battling social convention.  She feels bad for being fat.  Her mother does not approve.  Her friends do not approve.  Her husband does not approve, when she gains the weight back.  Louise decides that this is who she is, a fat girl, and is ready to stand up for this version of herself, even if she loses her new life.


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