The dominance of the white race is evident through the power that it holds in a traditional society. Throughout The Bluest Eye, Claudia and Frieda, two young black girls, gradually begin to hate Maureen Peal, a lighter-skinned “friend” with whom they attend school. Claudia and Frieda despise the beauty that other members of society see in Maureen and attempt to figure out the reason for Maureen’s power over themselves. Claudia argues that “Maureen Peal was not the Enemy and not worthy of such intense hatred,” and that the only thing they had to fear was “the Thing that made her beautiful and not [them]” (Morrison 74). When Claudia references the “Thing to fear,” she is addressing Maureen’s lighter skin tone and acceptance into society, and not her own blackness, despite the fact that Maureen is not a part of the white community. Claudia’s hatred toward Maureen illustrates the power that light-skinned, and primarily white, individuals have over blacks to deceive people as well as place themselves above everyone else. The ability for the white community to assume its position at the top of the social hierarchy
Elmhurst College Houses Ryan Sykora English 336 Dr. Chambers 04/13/2016 The Bluest Eye, written by Toni Morrison, demonstrates the internal struggles that plagued the African American working class due to the socioeconomic conditions during the early 1940s. These external pressures shaped the lifestyles of the characters both in their internal struggles and their physical surroundings. Pauline Breedlove unknowingly displays her own internal conflicts through the way in which she keeps her own home. Additionally, she further demonstrates her battle with acceptance and her obsession with beauty in the way she cares for the home of the Fishers. Another character, Geraldine, keeps her home clean with an obsessive determination. However,
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison takes place in Ohio in the 1940s. The novel is written from the perspective of African Americans and how they view themselves. Focusing on identity, Morrison uses rhetorical devices such as imagery, dictation, and symbolism to help stress her point of view on identity. In the novel the author argues that society influences an individual's perception on beauty, which she supports through characters like Pecola and Mrs. Breedlove. Furthermore, the novel explains how society shapes an individual's character by instilling beauty expectations. Morrison is effective in relaying her message about the various impacts that society has on an individual's character through imagery, diction, and symbolism by showing that
Family Relationships in Morrison's The Bluest Eye “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, is a story about the life of a young black girl, Pecola Breedlove, who is growing up during post World War I. She prays for the bluest eyes, which will “make
The novel The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison presents the certain type of beauty admired by the main character in this fictional story, which seems to be the main content of the novel. The first thing that the people judge is the physical appearance, no matter from which part of the world anyone comes from. The stereotype of defining a beauty in a certain way still prevails in our society. On the other hand, human beings being a social animal, cannot remain secluded from the society. They shape themselves into the societal beliefs, values, trend, culture etc. of the society. Especially, the ones who do not have the tendency or ability to contend are easily influenced. Likewise, the main character, the young black girl self-loathes up to the point
The desire to feel beautiful has never been more in demand, yet so impossible to achieve. In the book “The Bluest Eye”, the author, Toni Morrison, tells the story of two black families that live during the mid-1900’s. Even though slavery is a thing of the past, discrimination and racism are still a big issue at this time. Through the whole book, characters struggle to feel beautiful and battle the curse of being ugly because of their skin color. Throughout the book Pecola feels ugly and does not like who she is because of her back skin. She believes the only thing that can ever make her beautiful is if she got blue eyes. Frieda, Pecola, Claudia, and other black characters have been taught that the key to being beautiful is by having white skin. So by being black, this makes them automatically ugly. In the final chapter of the book, the need to feel beautiful drives Pecola so crazy that she imagines that she has blue eyes. She thinks that people don’t want to look at her because they are jealous of her beauty, but the truth is they don’t look at her because she is pregnant. From the time these black girls are little, the belief that beauty comes from the color of their skin has been hammered into their mind. Mrs. Breedlove and Geraldine are also affected by the standards of beauty and the impossible goal to look and be accepted by white people. Throughout “The Bluest Eye” Toni Morrison uses the motif of beauty to portray its negative effect on characters.
Despite knowing that they are "nicer, brighter," they cannot ignore "the honey voices of parents and aunts and the obedience in the eyes of [their] peers, the slippery light in the eyes of [their] teachers" when Maureen is around or the topic of conversation (74). The way Maureen dresses and behaves in front of adults is not the only way she affects Claudia and Frieda. With racist comments such as, "What do I care about her old black daddy...[and] you ugly! Black and ugly black e mos. I am cute," she infuriates the girls, for in their eyes Maureen is black too. Racist attitudes like Maureen's affect the poorer, darker blacks and can eventually lead them to think racist thoughts of their own.
It has always been assumed that races have a certain look; a person can always tell what a person is by their mannerisms, their speech and the overall way they carried themselves even if they looked a certain way. However, this is mainly due to stereotypes that have long plagued
Essentialists claim that women writers tend to avoid difficult societal issues, such as gender, race, and political concepts. They critiqued that women prefer to be “safe” when it comes to the style of their works, but that could not be farther than the truth. These women, have in fact, made
The Bluest Eye is a novel written by Toni Morrison that reveals many lessons and conflicts between young and adult characters of color. The setting takes place during the 1940s in Lorain, Ohio. The dominant speaker of this book is a nine year old girl named Claudia MacTeer who gets to know many of her neighbors. As a result of this, Claudia learns numerous lessons from her experience with the citizens of Lorain. Besides Claudia, The Bluest Eye is also told through many characters for readers to understand the connection between each of the adults and children. Many parents in the novel like Geraldine and Pauline Breedlove clearly show readers how adults change their own children. Furthermore, other adult characters like Cholly Breedlove
The book Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin (1961) is an extraordinary account of a white journalist who temporarily "became" black in order to experience what racism truly meant to the Southern black community of the late 1950s and early 1960s. During the time, there was little communication, tolerance, or understanding between the races. Griffin's deep-seated Catholic faith drove him towards sympathy in view of the suffering that he observed so keenly among black people. This, in turn, drove him to search out a dermatologist who agreed to provide him with treatment that would temporarily darken his skin so that he could engage in his experiment. The novel is an account of his experiences and has subsequently been hailed as a definitive work creating a platform for better understanding racism and class conflict in its many manifestations. On many occasions, the author's experiences are painful as a result of the institutionalized racism and hatred he encountered simply because of the color of his skin. On other occasions, the reader is moved by his account of caring and love among those who are oppressed, as well as from those individuals within the oppressing culture who were willing to do what they could to remedy the injustice. In Black Like Me, Griffin provides an in-depth account of what it means to become black in a society where a whole race is reviled and to enter a race where in inner hierarchy also exists. The honesty of his account and the relevance of his
She erases the blackness of the woman to justify her actions, a common endeavor in white America’s exploitation of the black body. This endeavor is evident of the
Misdirected Anger Depicted in The Bluest Eye In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison shows that anger is healthy and that it is not something to be feared; those who are not able to get angry are the ones who suffer the most. She criticizes Cholly, Polly, Claudia, Soaphead Church, the Mobile Girls, and Pecola because these blacks in her story wrongly place their anger on themselves, their own race, their family, or even God, instead of being angry at those they should have been angry at: whites.
Toni Morrison’s short story “Recitatif,” centralizes questions about racial identity, community, and prejudice. She explicitly states that out of the pair of friends, Twyla and Roberta, one is white and the other is black. Unlike other works with similar themes, Morrison intentionally keeps the main characters racially ambiguous. Maggie’s entire characterization is ambiguous. Her racial ambiguity is particularly significant to Twyla and Roberta. Morrison uses the racial ambiguity of her characters to demonstrate that racial prejudice is a learned behavior that incites the superficial racial classification of people and that the value of a person remains beyond that classification.
This quotation is written in the last chapter of “The Bluest Eye” in this quote Claudia tries to explain to us the readers what the story is about. She describes love as something that has the potential become a force that is twisted the example to this is that Claudia