Fitting in is always an issue in the world of teenage girls and some girls have better outcomes than others. “Snow White” by Grace Hu is a story about a teenage girl named Mary who is an albino. Mary struggles to be accepted because of her scary white exterior. Also she has low self confidence from being teased by her peers. Mary also only has one true friend that begins to drift apart from her. Another story that deals with the issue of acceptance is the story “Red Dress”.
Red Dress” by Alice Munro is a story about a teenage girl entering her first year of high school. She fights to be accepted and decides to go to the school dance with her one friend Lonnie, despite her terrible clothes put together by her crazy mother. Acceptance in “Snow White” and “Red Dress” is affected by appearance, family influence, and being left out by their one true friend. Both the protagonists in “Snow White” and “Red Dress” struggle with acceptance based on their appearance. The protagonist in “Snow White”, Mary, appearance as an albino affects her being accepted.An example of Mary’s appearance affecting her being accepted is when Mary reminisces of how when she was in elementary school kids used to tease her by chanting “Mary, Mary quite contrary, how’d you get so white and scary”. This shows that kids who didn’t understand her condition chose to tease her instead of trying to accept her for herself.
Another example of how appearance affected Mary being accepted is when the boy at the party comes dressed up as Mary. The boy and his friend then continue to have more fun at Mary’s expense when the boy asks for a miller lite and his friend quips “you mean a miller white”.This shows rather than get to know Mary and see that she was a nice person, he and others decided to judge her solely based on her appearance and mock her by painting his face white, and wearing a Mr. Bubble shirt, obviously dressing up as Mary. The protagonist in “Red Dress” also struggles with acceptance based on her appearance. In “Red Dress” the protagonist appearance affects her being accepted by her peers. The protagonist appearance in regards to her home made clothes and ill put together outfits.
The protagonist shows that she wore these horrible utfits since she was a child not knowing how she would be looked at by people. She talks of how her mother made her these outfits by saying “She made me, at various times when I was younger, a flowered organdie dress with a high Victorian neckline edged in scratchy lace, with a poke bonnet to match: a Scottish plaid outfit with a velvet jacket and tam: an embroidered peasant blouse worn with a full red skirt and black laced bodice. I had worn these clothes with docility, even pleasure, in the days when I was unaware of the world’s opinion. This shows that the protagonist was judged based on her appearance since she was young, and also without her knowing. Her mother was making her these terrible outfits since she was young and just assumed that they would be deemed acceptable ensembles by her peers, never knowing that these ugly clothes were getting her teased, mocked, and judged. Another example of the protagonist being unaccepted by her peers based on her appearance is because she even judges herself based on her looks and has very low self esteem . This shows in the quote “My head was muffled in velvet.
My body exposed in an old cotton school slip. I feel like a great raw lump, clumsy, and goose-pimpled”. As well as the quote “I must look scared and ugly”. These quotes show that if the protagonist thinks these things of herself then her peers will only think the same. It also could be explained that her low self esteem could be a result of being made fun of for so long based on her appearance. The protagonists in both “Snow White” and “Red Dress” were not accepted based on their appearance. Family influences affect both the protagonist in “Snow White” and “Red Dress” being accepted.
In “Snow White” the protagonist’s acceptance is affected based on family influences. An example of Mary’s family influences affecting her is when she talks about how when she was a little girl she caught her mother holding up her school portrait and crying “My poor, poor, baby it’s all my fault”. This shows that if her own mother does not accept her the way she looks then how can other people be expected to accept her. This also must have hurt her and lowered her self confidence extremely. Hearing her own mother saying such things about her, she can only wonder what other people say about her behind her back.Another example of Mary’s acceptance being affected by her family influences is when she speaks of her mother treating her condition by saying “I guess it hasn’t helped that my mother has always been overprotective in a way, practically passing out flyers on the subject matter to mothers and curious children on the playground”. This shows that instead of mother not mentioning her condition to any body and treating her like a normal child, she talks about her daughter’s condition openly like she is some sort of freak.
If her mother did not talk about her condition and just talked about her characteristics or other things then people would just probably look past her condition more easily and accept her as she is. Instead when her mother talks about her condition it puts the idea in peoples heads that Mary is different from other children and treat her differently. In “Red Dress” the protagonists’ family influences also affect her being accepted. The protagonists’ in “Red Dress” family influences affect her being accepted.An example of this is when she speaks on her mother’s grotesque stature by saying “around the house she wore no corset or stockings, she wore wedge heeled shoes and ankle socks, her legs were marked with lumps of blue/green veins. I found her squatting position shameless, even obscene”. This shows that she is terribly embarrassed by her mother’s appearance.
Being embarrassed like this she would most likely be ashamed to invite any new friends over for fear of losing them due to her mothers sometimes disgusting appearance.Because of this she has a disadvantage of making any new close friends because she wouldn’t want to invite them over because of her mother. Another example is when she talks about how her mother is to her one friend Lonnie “she enraged me talking like this to Lonnie, as if Lonnie was grown up and I was still a child”. This is another reason that she would not want to have friends over because she feels as though her mother puts her down in front of her friends. If she is worried that her mother will belittle her in front of old friends imagine what she would do in front of new friend.The protagonist most likely chooses to avoid this whole problem by not having any new friends over. The protagonist in both “Snow White” and “Red Dress” acceptance is affected by their family influences.
Acceptance is affected in “Snow White” and “Red Dress” because both protagonists are left out by their one true friend. In “Snow White” the protagonist is ditched by their best friend. An example of Mary and her one true friend, Karen, growing apart is when Mary says “Basically I only have one friend, Karen. Recently she started dating a rather popular individual and she started eating lunch with him and his friends.This show that well Mary is still remaining an outkast her best friend Karen is starting to move up the popularity ladder and leaving Mary behind. Before Mary had Karen and that was really all she needed friend wise, but now as Karen is eating lunch with her new friends Mary has to resort t eating lunch in the library by herself. Another example is when Karen talks about the fact that she has decided to throw a Halloween party in lieu of her new found popularity.
She introduces this idea to Karen by saying “Listen to this I’m having a party and your coming”.Mary then tries to make up an excuse on why she cannot go by telling Karen she had other plans. She did not have other plans but rather was unsure about going to the party because she was afraid she would be made fun of and would not fit in with Karen’s new friends among the popular crowd. In “Red Dress” the protagonist one friend also grow apart from each other and outshines her friend. The protagonist in “Red Dress” is left behind by her one true friend. An example of this is when the protagonist talks about not being picked to dance while her friend Lonnie is chosen, “boys came over girls went out to dance.Lonnie went.
The girl beside me went. Nobody asked me”. This shows that Lonnie is sort of out shining the protagonist by getting asked to dance and leaving her friend alone. Another example is when the protagonist and her new friend Mary Fortune are leaving the dance and the protagonist speaks on Lonnie by saying “I didn’t look for Lonnie. Lonnie was probably not going to be my friend any more, not as much as before anyway”. This shows that the protagonist now realizes that she and Lonnie are growing apart.It also shows that the protagonist is prepared to move on without her, just as Lonnie left her at the dance earlier in the night.
Both protagonist in “Snow White” and “Red Dress” are both left behind by their one true friend. Appearance, family influence, and being left out by their true friend are all factors that affect the protagonist in the stories “Snow White” and “Red Dress” being accepted. The protagonists in both stories are not accepted because of their appearance. From Mary’s albino exterior in “Snow White” to the protagonist home made horrible outfits in “Red Dress”.They are also not accepted due to their family influence. Due to Mary’s mother over exulting her daughter’s condition in “Snow White” or the protagonist mother’s grotesque appearance and insulting ways in “Red Dress”. Finally they were not accepted due to being left behind by their one true friend.
While Karen begins to outshine Mary in “Snow White” Lonnie and the protagonist start to grow apart in “Red Dress”. Vincent Van Gogh was once quoted as saying “I wish they would only take me as I am”. I think that the protagonist in both stories would agree with Mr. Van Gogh on that.