Essay about Racism and Sexism in the Bluest Eye

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Toni Morrison, the author of The Bluest Eye, centers her novel around two things: beauty and wealth in their relation to race and a brutal rape of a young girl by her father. Morrison explores and exposes these themes in relation to the underlying factors of black society: racism and sexism. Every character has a problem to deal with and it involves racism and/or sexism. Whether the characters are the victim or the aggressor, they can do nothing about their problem or condition, especially when concerning gender and race. Morrison's characters are clearly at the mercy of preconceived notions maintained by society. Because of these preconceived notions, the racism found in The Bluest Eye is not whites against blacks. Morrison writes about …show more content…
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.

Pauline Breedlove, Pecola's mother, experiences racism within the black community when she moves to Lorain, Ohio. Being a dark-skinned black woman from the south, she does not understand why "northern colored folk was different... [and why they were] no better than whites for meanness" (117). She recognizes the hierarchy, or the "difference between colored people and niggers" within the black community, especially from the light-skinned women she encounters (87). One of these light-skinned black women is Geraldine, Junior's mother, who believes "colored people were neat and quiet; niggers were dirty and loud" (87). She even tells her son

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