The Fat Girl Summary
Marilyn Stickle Sachs

Everything you need to understand or teach The Fat Girl by Marilyn Stickle Sachs.

  • The Fat Girl Summary & Study Guide
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The Fat Girl Summary

As the title indicates, one of the major characters in the novel has a weight problem. But that is not really the main issue. While Ellen eventually does overcome her obesity, it is not a weight-loss story. The plot of the novel revolves around the efforts of Jeff, a teen-ager, to recreate and transform Ellen into his own image of beauty.

Jeff, in spite of his seeming confidence, has problems with his overly domineering mother who, so far, has destroyed all his relationships with girls.

Focusing on Ellen as an object which he can turn into a "show piece" makes him feel powerful. He embarks on a Pygmalion-like adventure, totally disregarding Ellen's needs as a human being with feelings of her own. Ellen eventually rebels, and Jeff loses her because he sees his relationship only as a way to control her life.

The teen-age years are a time of...

(read more from the Short Guide)