The fiction narrative Fat Girl by Andre Dubus is about a fat girl by the name Loise who is the main character. The narrative explains to us the pressures Loise got from friends and the whole society about her physicality. The pressured her to change her appearance, what she eats and generally how she acts so as to be appealing to them. This story tries to show us how pressures from other people can make individuals change their living styles so as to please others. Dubus explores how the society can force a person into a different lifestyle which is against their will. At the end of the book Loise goes back to her original lifestyle, but this is after trying to slim as Carrie had told her (Andre 145).
Loise’s college roommate Carrie was so manipulative to the looks of Loise. She pressured her to change her diet so as to become thin insisting that being fat had a negative impact on her health. Loise cannot withstand the pressure and she agrees to Carrie’s plan on losing weight. She observes her diet for quite a long time and even starts smoking to lose weight. Less did she know that smoking had more serious impact on her health than being fat. In this story, Dubus gives us the interaction of the desires of the society, and the desires of an individual. In our case, the society is Carrie, while the individual is Loise.
One Sunday when Carrie had arrived from Boston and she was unpacking her bag, she told Loise that she had been thinking about her, and what she would become after their graduation. She told Loise that she wants the other people to love her the same way she did. That to become possible, Carrie advised her to go o a diet (Andre 138). This was when Loise started thinking about what Carrie had told her.
Loise seemed genuine on the outside, but inside she was not doing Loise a favour. She acted like she was helping Loise by advising her to become skinny so that she can be loved. The truth is that she did not want Loise to do what pleased her, but she wanted her to do what pleased the society. The pressure came from the closest friend of Loise hence Dubus showing us the effects of peer pressure which is common in our society.
The pressures came even from Louise’s husband Richard and her mother too. Loise was not very obese, but they wanted her to slim so as to become more beautiful. This does not mean that fat girls are not beautiful, they are beautiful too, but the society thought that being fat did not show the beauty, so she had to slim. Her mother went to the extent of insulting her, and her husband called her disgusting when she started gaining weight. All the trials Louise did to lose weight did not work, and she decided to love herself as a fat girl. She even went ahead to eat a chocolate bar in front of her husband to make her point clear. Dubus’ point is reflected by the way her mother treats her and talks ill of her. Richard goes ahead to tell her that it is almost summertime and she is gaining weight, while she will need to get her bathing suit on (Andre 143).
In Dubus’ story fat girl, the story explores and develops one theme throughout, and that is the pressures from the society and how they affect the lifestyle of an individual. The protagonist is Louise, and we learn about her relationship with the people close to her and the pressure they exert on her about her life. We learn the pressure that the represented society has on Louise. The society tries to change Louise from a person who she is to a different person. She tries to cope with the pressures of the society, but at the end of the story, Louise decides to do what she loves (eating and being fat), instead of concentrating on what the society wants of her (Andre 149).
Dubus uses this story to reflect what happens in our society. Many people feel the pressure from the society which is subjected through either criticism, peer pressure, or other forms of pressures. He shows us that we should not do what other people want of us or what the society thinks is good for us. We should do want we love, and what we think is right. The story by Dubus is like glass because it makes us see what is happening in our society today. The society tries to change us so as to suit its likes and desires without looking at what we like. He makes us understand that the society which an individual lives in plays a big role in determining the traits of an individual. It tries to for an individual to do things against their desires (Marsh 150).
Ivanov, Andrea. "DOING PENANCE IN THE OLD WEST: "SISTERS" AS ANDRE DUBUS'S FINAL WORD ON SUFFERING RAPE." Renascence 60.3 (2008): 251,269,271. ProQuest. Web. 27 Feb. 2014.
Marsh, G. D. (2001). The tyranny of the normal: An anthology. The American Journal of Semiotics, 17(4), 363. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/213748901?accountid=8289
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