"The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison is a novel filled with many themes, but one theme specifically is also the central disrupter of everyone's lives. It is the idea that white skin or whiteness is the beauty standard, whiteness and racism are main issues that contribute to Pecola's eventually madness by the end of the story. Every black character in the book besides Claudia MacTeer is brainwashed into believing that the color of their skin makes them ugly and that white is the only true definition of beautiful. Pecola Breedlove is one main character that believes this throughout her core, the story revolves around her prayers to be a blue eyed, blond haired white girl like Shirly temple and is convinced that if she looked like this the world would love and treat her better. Maureen Paul, Geraldine and Junior are light skinned characters who use their lighter complexion to differentiate themselves from the African community in order to fit in with whites around town, they
Throughout all of history there has been an ideal beauty that most have tried to obtain. But what if that beauty was impossible to grasp because something was holding one back. There was nothing one could do to be ‘beautiful’. Growing up and being convinced that one was ugly, useless, and dirty. For Pecola Breedlove, this state of longing was reality. Blue eyes, blonde hair, and pale white skin was the definition of beauty. Pecola was a black girl with the dream to be beautiful. Toni Morrison takes the reader into the life of a young girl through Morrison’s exceptional novel, The Bluest Eye. The novel displays the battles that Pecola struggles with each and every day. Morrison takes the reader through the themes of whiteness and beauty,
The plot in The Bluest Eye is the tragedy of Pecola Breedlove, an African-American girl whose fondest wish is to miraculously awaken one day with blue eyes, thinking that perhaps it will make her mother attentive and her father loving:
The immoral acts of society raped Pecola Breedlove, took her innocence, and left her to go insane. The Random House Dictionary defines “rape” as “an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation.” The Random House definition perfectly describes what happens to Pecola over the course of the novel. From Pecola’s standpoint, society rapes her repeatedly, by their judgmental attitudes towards everything that she is; she is “ugly,” she is poor, she is black. In Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Morrison shines a critical light on society, illumining the immoral acts that it participates in, through the story of how a little girl is thrown by the wayside since she does not embody the societal ideal. Instead of one human
In the course of The Bluest Eye, Pecola Breedlove has shown signs of low self esteem. She would always be the one to compare herself to something she admires to be beautiful. Perhaps, sometimes problems surround her get a little too much, she has not yet realized the fog will clear up. For example in the autumn chapter, a quote has said “Thrown, in this way, into the binding conviction that only a miracle could relieve her, she would never know her beauty. She would only see what there was to see: the eyes of other people.” There is no such thing as a “Pecola’s point of view”. She lives off of people's judgements and believe physical appearance is all there is to a person. Her desire to be beautiful is not having attractive long black hair and golden skin color, but blonde hair with a white pigmentation. Which causes her to dream and want even more.
One of the significant themes that Morrison 's, The Bluest Eye scrutinizes is the relationship between race and beauty. The novel examines how white society 's view of beauty serves to degrade, ignore, and criticize African Americans. The Bluest Eye depicts the story of an eleven-year-old black girl, Pecola Breedlove, who desires have blue eyes on the grounds that she sees herself and is viewed by most of the characters in the novel as “ugly.” The standard of “beauty” that her peers aspire to is personified by the young white child actress, Shirley Temple, who has desirable blue eyes. White standards of beauty, an affection of the “blue-eyed, blonde haired" look, are forced upon the black individuals who personalize such social standards, tolerating rejection as real and undeniable, and being not able to meet such standards. They are degraded in their own eyes, producing self-hatred and internalized racial disgust. This perception of their own inadequacy and the mediocrity of their race, when all is said, is strengthened every day through their connections with white individuals and the admired white culture in their general surroundings. Morrison reveals insight into the shielded and implicit truth that everybody to some degree is racist. In The Bluest Eye, by utilizing direct portrayals, symbolic imagery, and racial tension in a black society, Morrison exhibits the darkness of undeniable racism in American society.
She thought that if she had blue eyes, the blue eyes of the accepted white ideal, she would be beautiful and therefore loved. The acquisition of the blue eyes she so fiercely covets signifies Pecola's step into madness. It was a safe place, where she could have her blue eyes, and where she could be accepted.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison introduces readers to the life of Pecola Breedlove living in Lorain, Ohio during the end of Great Depression. Pecola and her friend, Frieda Macteer, experience early on neglective parents who are overly concerned with pleasing themselves rather than directing attention upon their daughters. This creates a sense of underlying hate and instability within and outside their homes. Looking for love and attention, Pecola turns to superficial things such as dolls. Pecola wants to feel beautiful in a world where a blue-eyed, pale skin Shirley Temple doll is idolized by all colors alike. Her goal in life is to attain white beauty, a standard of her culture she believes she does not have. The effects of colorism and racism tear the African-American culture apart in this novel because they try so hard to fit into the graces of white society. The characters in The Bluest Eye hate their skin color so much that that are forced to feel shame for their own culture. The desires to be beautiful create a sense of self-loathing and self-hate within most, if not all, of the characters, which pass from generation to generation producing an on-going cycle of negativity.
“The Bluest Eye” is taking place around 1940 in Lorain, Ohio. During the year of 1940, discrimination, especially toward African Americans, was still a serious problem. People believe that whiteness is the standard of beauty. The main character, Pecola, who was a nine-years-old African-American, was influenced by how people view beauty. Pecola suffered and felt that she is inferior to others. Pecola believed that having a pair of blue eyes would made people think she is pretty, and would be the key resolving all the problems.
In the third chapter of The Bluest Eye, entitled "Autumn", Toni Morrison focuses on Pecola's family, the Breedloves. Morrison goes in depth about the family dynamic of the Breedloves and how it affects Pecola and her self-image. The passage starts after one of many arguments between Cholly and Mrs. Breedlove, Pecola's parents, turns violent. Mrs. Breedlove wants Cholly to fetch some coal from the outside shed. Cholly spent the last night drinking and does not want to get out of bed. The passage begins with the children becoming aware of the argument. Mrs. Breedlove starts to hit him with cooking pans while Cholly mostly used his feet and teeth. After the fight is over Mrs. Breedlove just lets Cholly lie on the ground and she goes about her
In Toni Morrison “The Bluest Eye” she examines the terrible outcomes of impressive white, middle-class American standards of attractiveness on the evolving female characteristics of a young African American girl for the period of the early 1940s. Morrison novel touchingly shows the psychological damage of a young black girl perception. Pecola Breedlove was a young girl who searches for love and approval in a world that rejects and undervalues people of her own race and culture. The title of the story bears great significance to Pecola obsession. Quite often Pecola mentions the conservative American values of womanlike beauty such as; white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. These are presented to her by the common icons and ethnicities of the
The novel The Bluest Eye written by Toni Morrison is subjected on a young girl, Pecola Breedlove and her experiences growing up in a poor black family. The life depicted is one of poverty, ridicule, and dissatisfaction of self. Pecola feels ugly because of her social status as a poor young black girl and longs to have blue eyes, the pinnacle of beauty and worth. Throughout the book, Morrison touches on controversial subjects, such as the depicting of Pecola's father raping her, Mrs. Breedlove's sexual feelings toward her husband, and Pecola's menstruation. The book's content is controversial on many levels and it has bred conflict among its readers.
Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye begins by thrusting the reader into the cold embrace of human suffrage in the form of Pecola Breedlove, thus dramatically detailing what her life is like whilst launched before the public limelight. The sensation of nakedness is the perception of which Morrison elaborates upon as Pecola is displaced of solitude and all of her human faculties are stored into a cube for the world to refract its scornful eyes against. Furthermore, Morrison delineates Pecola’s suffering as though the human condition itself were an object; rather, one of those sophisticated snow globes that one places on the wooden mantelpiece in order to proclaim the winter season. The tragedy of Pecola Breedlove is that the town emulsifies her world,
Throughout Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye, she captures, with vivid insight, the plight of a young African American girl and what she would be subjected to in a media contrived society that places its ideal of beauty on the e quintessential blue-eyed, blonde woman. The idea of what is beautiful has been stereotyped in the mass media since the beginning and creates a mental and emotional damage to self and soul. This oppression to the soul creates a socio-economic displacement causing a cycle of dysfunction and abuses. Morrison takes us through the agonizing story of just such a young girl, Pecola Breedlove, and her aching desire to have what is considered beautiful - blue eyes. Racial stereotypes of beauty contrived and nourished by
The social standards of beauty and the idea of the American Dream in The Bluest Eye leads Mrs. Breedlove to feelings of shame, that she later passes on to Pecola. The Breedloves are surrounded by the idea of perfection, and their absence of it makes them misfits. Mrs. Breedlove works for a white family, the fishers. She enjoys the luxury of her work life and inevitably favors her work over her family. This leads to Pecola struggle to find her identity, in a time where perception is everything. Pecola is challenged by the idea that her mother perferis her work life, that they have an outdated house, and that she does not look like the shirley temple doll with blue eyes.