Family Relationships in Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essays

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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 her beautiful” and in turn make her accepted by her family and peers. The major issue in the book, the idea of ugliness, was the belief that “blackness” was not valuable or beautiful. This view, handed down to them at birth, was a cultural hindrance to the black race. A main theme in this novel is the influence of family relationships in the quest for individual identity. Our family or lack thereof, as children, ultimately influences the way we feel as adults, about ourselves and…show more content…
In this “Autumn” chapter, Claudia MacTeer uses flower imagery to describe how she and Frieda respond to their environment. This metaphor calls attention to the importance of nurture and environment for these young children, especially during these formative years of childhood. Like flowers, we depend on our environment for sustenance, so in turn, Pecola Breedlove, Soaphead Church, and Louis, Jr., inherit the legacy of self-loathing and Claudia and Frieda MacTeer inherit the legacy of self-worth. The mother/daughter relationship between Mrs. MacTeer and her two daughters, Claudia and Frieda, is loving and strong. They are taught their own self-worth through their mother’s strength and example, although this love isn’t fully appreciated by the girls until they are older. During Claudia’s illness, she is treated with a mixture of concern and anger. Although Claudia is scolded and her mother complains of cleaning her vomit, at the same time her mother is nursing her, giving her medicine, and checking on her throughout the night. Claudia discovers later that her mother’s anger is not directed at her, but at the world, as she must raise her black family in a world ruled by white culture. She protects her children and equips them for survival in a hostile environment. The Dick and Jane primer in “The Bluest Eye” reminds us of the persuasiveness of the happy, middle-America myth of the perfect family,
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