Short Fiction - Goodman's AmLit discussion

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The fat girl

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message 1: by Annie (new)

Annie | 3 comments The Fat Girl Why did people disliked Louise when she gained her weight back on, how is that affecting Louise's view of her own identity?


message 2: by Annie (new)

Annie | 3 comments Although Louise was fat, despite how others view her, she always appreciate her beauty, "She liked her lips and nose, and her chin... liked her long pale blond hair" (161). She tried to ignore her fat and focus on other part of herself, which everyone else couldn't, "The flicker of disappointment in her mother's eyes... their eyes would tell her she was still the fat Louise" (162). Because of the fact that her flaw was so huge that other's couldn't even see her beauty, especially about marriage, everyone else found their love of their lives because they weren't fat. Louise's best friend helped her to lose her weight to a normal standard, she found her husband and gave birth to her son. Although she was pretty and slim and everyone liked her, she never tried to lose weight just because she wanted to, all she wanted was to eat junk food. She gave herself excuses to eat more and gain her weight back on. She seems satisfied. "And her desire for sweet was as vicious as it had been long ago" (169). She couldn't control herself to lose weight because she didn't want to. However, her husband left her and her family disliked her again, just because of her fat and the fact that she was not wanting to lose weight. But she consisted so that she could have her unique beauty and her own identity, despite how others say."


message 3: by Max (new)

Max Wu | 6 comments I am confused when you stated that "[Louise] never tried to lose wait just because she wanted to." In page 164, Louise "felt a new hope" when she was enjoying the "warm morning sun." From that I asserted that she actually was determined to lose weight and I hypothesize that if she hadn't wanted to lose weight, she would not lose even one pound.


message 4: by Max (new)

Max Wu | 6 comments I think that gaining weight back affected her view on her identity, since she first "shivered with fear" when she "put on a maternity dress," the accepted that and "[hid] candy in her underwear drawer" like before she lost her weight. (169, 170). More specifically, Louise's identity was changed by losing weight, and "reverted" back when gaining weight. Before she gains weight again, when she successfully got rid of her excess fat, she received both compliments from her parents and also her acquaintances, and "she loved their eyes." (167). And moreover, she "swam in the country club pool, the first time she had done this since she was a child." (167). Because of these compliments, she changed her view on her older fat identity and happily accepted her new identity. She was not proud of her fatness anymore, she was proud of her slenderness and wanted to show her body through swimming, which she stopped doing after she was a child as a result of her shyness about her fat body. She also confessed that she chose Joan, Marjorie, and Carrie as her friends because "they were all thin." (168). From that we can see that she had accepted her new identity of a thin female, before weight gaining was changing her identity to the young fat Louise. She roared at Richard of being "cruel" when Richard let Louise look at her fat body. (170). She now accepts her fatness and become the old Louise again, unwilling to change.


message 5: by Jun (new)

Jun Kim | 7 comments Max wrote: "I think that gaining weight back affected her view on her identity, since she first "shivered with fear" when she "put on a maternity dress," the accepted that and "[hid] candy in her underwear dra..."

I disagree with you when you say that her identity changed when she lost her weight. What was her identity in the first place? Just like what Annie said in her post, her identity was her desire to eat more, and I think getting fat was just a consequence of her desire. However, what changed after she lost her fat is how others view her. We might think that her identity is set on other people's perspective, where because other people don't like her being fat, she wants to lose weight. Even though this is not flawed, her true identity is set on her desire to eat more. That is why after she got slim, she lost her rituals. It is mentioned that, "She did not feel strong, she did not feel that she was committed.." (165). If her identity was set as her getting slimmer, then why do you guys think she lost her commitment?


message 6: by Jun (new)

Jun Kim | 7 comments Just like what I have mentioned above, I feel that her true identity stayed constant throughout the entire story. However, there was one point where she confused her true identity with the superficial one because so many people were happy and lauding for her new body. The story created a positive mood when it mentioned, "For days, her relatives and acquaintances congratulated..." (167). However, it was the other people that felt happy for Louise's new body not Louise herself, because her real identity was not satisfied until she gained fat again after her marriage. Furthermore, in the discussion with Richard on page 170 shows her unwillingness to lose weight, we are able to be certain that her true happiness lies in her eating whatever she wants to. This was her identity the whole time. Therefore, I feel that there were no changes in her identity throughout the entire story.


message 7: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie | 1 comments Annie wrote: "Although Louise was fat, despite how others view her, she always appreciate her beauty, "She liked her lips and nose, and her chin... liked her long pale blond hair" (161). She tried to ignore her ..."

In my opinion, I think the main reason made Louise wanted to e fat again is that she lost herself after she lost all her weights. Even though she was huge and fat before, she had real confidences about herself and she loved herself. And she have already used to the huge body. Once she lost all her fats, she could not find herself anymore, although everyone came to her and say a lot of words to praise her, they were all fake and hypocritical. Louise didn't want to live like that, she missed the old Louise.


message 8: by Jay (new)

Jay Goodman | 9 comments Mod
Jun wrote: "Just like what I have mentioned above, I feel that her true identity stayed constant throughout the entire story. However, there was one point where she confused her true identity with the superfic..."

What view do you think the writer wants his audience to take? Does he expect us to accept her happiness with her weight gain, or does he expect us to judge her like everyone else around her does?


message 9: by Jun (new)

Jun Kim | 7 comments In response to Mr. Goodman's question, I think the author wants us to accept her happiness not with her weight gain, but in doing what she really wants to do, and not others. In this short story, the author does a great job instilling the idea in our mind that Louise gets happiness through eating. He is also trying to say that living up to other people's judgement or expectation will not make you happy, which also I think goes off of what we call "MY OWN identity"


message 10: by Jun (new)

Jun Kim | 7 comments Stephanie wrote: "Annie wrote: "Although Louise was fat, despite how others view her, she always appreciate her beauty, "She liked her lips and nose, and her chin... liked her long pale blond hair" (161). She tried ..."

I totally agree with Stephanie here. Just to give a personal anecdote, since I was young, I was always the shortest in my class. Although I didn't really care being so short, many people laughed at it. Because I was getting so much stress from this negative-to-other-people quality, I bought shoes that makes you taller, tried to eat medicine that helps you grow up, and etc. During this process, my parents did not let me drink coke at all, and coke is like my life. In 7th grade, I grew 13 cm and I was able to become taller than most of the girls in my grade. This at first gave me a sense of accomplishment; however, I was never so happy. Afterwards, I started to accept the fact that I stopped growing, and right now, I do not feel anything being short. Therefore, I agree with the author's message that you should live up to what you believe will make you happy, and not other people.


message 11: by Annie (new)

Annie | 3 comments I choose the story of the fat girl because I thought it would relate to my own personal experiences. I was fat couple of years ago, and just like Louise, I was being disliked for my outer experiences. Just like her, I conquered all the obstacles and lost weight. Everyone then started to like me and I felt like my life became way easier than before. But unlike Louise whose identity stayed the same and appreciate her "fat", I never did, I cared about other's opinions about me a lot. I hated every inches of fat on my body and I felt like I found my true self after lost weight. Everyone has their own identity, they might change or stay unchanged. Either way, it's the best to love the best of ourselves.


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