Racism in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay

1955 Words8 Pages
Since childhood, we all have been taught that “racism is bad” and should be avoided at all costs. We have been told that “everyone is a child of God and we are all created equal.” In fact, Americans are praised for the so-called equality they possess. However, renowned author Toni Morrison sheds light on the sheltered and unspoken truth that everyone—to some extent—is racist. “Home” is a reflective essay in which Morrison explains that her triumphs against racist ideologies are evident throughout her various novels (“Home” 3). In Morrison’s first novel, The Bluest Eye, instead of establishing a home where race does not matter—a home which she dreams of in her essay—she creates just the opposite (3). In this novel, by using direct…show more content…
The middle class black society and the lower class black society, for example, are quite different from each other and are constantly conflicting. In The Bluest Eye, Morrison distinguishes these divisions and their tensions through characters like Geraldine, Junior, and Maureen Peal, who represent the privileged division of black culture. On the contrary, the less privileged division is represented by the MacTeer family and the “relentlessly and aggressively ugly” Breedlove family (The Bluest Eye 38). Tension between the divided African American society is clearly represented by such characterizations throughout Morrison’s novel. Characters Claudia and Frieda MacTeer show envious disapproval towards Maureen Peal, a wealthy and stylish lighter-skinned African American girl who the girls refer to as a “disrupter of seasons” (62). Maureen’s character introduces the disruptive and wealthy society within the novel making the division between classes in black culture more apparent. The girls—clearly representing separate societal classes—do not relate to one another despite their shared race. Verifying that Maureen defines perfection in a black society, Claudia and Frieda had to “[look] hard to find [Maureen’s] flaws to restore [their] equilibrium” (63). The self-conscious girls literally search for any apparent faults middle-class Maureen may have in order to make themselves feel better about their “less beautiful” appearance and lower rank in society. Tension
Open Document