Childhood Presented in To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

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Childhood Presented in To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Childhood should be a time of great learning, curiosity, joy, playfulness and guiltlessness. The reality is that it can be a time of extreme vulnerability and dependency. The innocence and fragility of a child is easily manipulated and abused if not nurtured and developed.
Family relationships are crucial in the flourishing of young minds, but other childhood associations are important too. These include school life, friends, play and peer-group. Both novels portray these factors and their effects on the character formation of their subjects, to some extent and, show that growing up can be a painful process greatly accelerated by the
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By this time the Civil Rights movement had affected great advances in the freedom granted to black people, but discrimination was still widespread. The popular culture of the time was seen to uphold a standard for female beauty, which was white, blond haired, and blue eyed. This of course precluded all black women and was the cause of the formation of the Black Pride movement.
Morrison remembered an incident from her childhood, when one of her school friends said she wanted blue eyes. She couldn't, at the time, understand why her friend did not see herself as beautiful, but when she had grown up it became clear. Her friend had learnt racial self-loathing from an early age. This was to be the major theme of
Morrison's novel.

It has a similar small town setting to that of To Kill a Mocking Bird.
Lorain, Ohio (Morrison's hometown), still struggled at the end of the depression, when money and jobs were scarce. In contrast to Lee's novel though, it's main protagonists the MacTeer and Breedlove families are poor and black and are trying to survive in any way they can. While Scout and Jem's father Atticus has a good job and they live in a nice house, Frieda and Claudia MacTeer and their friend Pecola
Breedlove, the central characters in The Bluest Eye, live somewhat differently. Claudia describes their home:

"Our house is old, cold, and green. At night a kerosene lamp lights one large room. The
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