Tally’s literal and psychological journey drives the plot of Uglies, and her realizations communicate many of the novel’s themes. At the start of the novel, Tally is impatiently waiting to be turned into a pretty. All of her friends have already gone through the process, leaving Tally alone in the uglies’ dorms. Although Tally is very eager to conform to society’s standard of beauty, she is unusually rebellious amongst her friends.

Repeatedly, Tally outsmarts the constraints that her society has placed upon her in order to have greater freedom. When her safety devices warn her to stay away from danger, Tally always finds a way to get away with breaking the rules anyway. When Tally sneaks into New Pretty Town, she not only trespasses but also escapes by pulling a fire alarm and bungee jumping off the roof. Clearly, Tally is an irrepressibly independent prankster.

However, Tally’s desire to be pretty—or perhaps her fear of always being ugly—is so strong that she refuses to leave the city with Shay. Furthermore, she agrees with Dr. Cable’s plan, one that will require her to betray Shay and the entire community of Smoke. Throughout the novel, Tally explores an internal conflict between her need to be pretty and her individuality. David never sees this conflict. Instead, he only sees Tally’s strength and serious convictions. David’s feelings for Tally help her realize that she does not need an operation to be attractive. Tally does give away Smoke’s location, although she does so accidentally.

When Tally begins to overcome her need to be pretty, she becomes a confident, loyal young woman. She has rejected the illusion of perfection that the cosmetic surgery offers. Rather than focusing on how people should appear, she comes to value their character. Tally’s realization is one method that Westerfield uses to reject the utopian society of the pretties.

With David, Tally plans a way to rescue Shay and the others from Special Circumstances. Out of a sense of loyalty to her friend Shay and out of a sense of...

(The entire section is 862 words.)