Uncovering In Andre Dubus The Fat Girl

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Uncovering Deeper Meaning in Andre Dubus’ “The Fat Girl” In the critical period of forming her identity, Louise battles with her obesity. Criticism from her family and friends cause her to question her body image and consequently, her self worth. Louise is not the only adolescent to struggle with her appearance; with his depiction of her transformation, Andre Dubus addresses those whose view of themselves is marred by society. After years of her weight and emotions fluctuating, Louise realizes a deeper change. Through Louise’s journey, Dubus communicates that the power to change oneself emanates from one’s self control and ability to surpass societal pressure. Dubus first uses foreshadowing to convey that societal influence is responsible for future self-deprecating behavior. As a young girl, Louise’s mom convinces her to value a thin appearance over satisfying her hunger: “In five years you’ll be in high school and if you’re fat the boys won’t like you” (233). She internalizes her mother’s pressure to restrict her food intake, thus restricting her identity. Meanwhile, Louise has no faith in her ability to comply to society’s standards, as she understands that “she was fat because she was Louise” (234). Her starvation makes her “weak…show more content…
When Louise is at her thinnest and is perceivably most attractive, it is presumed she will stay that way. However, she gains all the weight back, thus going against the assumption that being thin is enjoyable. Furthermore, Dubus uses figurative language to compare Louise’s struggle to that of others: “For a while she stood eating in the dark, then she turned on the light” (245). With the motif of darkness symbolizing Louise’s blind indulgence, and light symbolizing her newfound awareness, Dubus communicates Louise’s development of self-control and
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