The Bluest Eye, And Marilynne Robinson 's Housekeeping

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Family, community, and society have a consistent, unavoidable impact on the individual and our own sense of identity. Whether it is the home we grow up in, the societal standards we face, or the relationships we lose and make, self-identification is significantly influenced by our surroundings. This journey to find oneself is a central theme within both Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye, and Marilynne Robinson’s, Housekeeping. The Bluest Eye tells the story of Pecola Breedlove, a young African American girl who yearns for the acceptance and love from society. The idea that she must have blue eyes if she wants to look beautiful has been imprinted on her and has affected the way she identifies herself. Then Housekeeping follows two sisters, Lucille and Ruth, who after a series of abandonments, search for their own identities through the mother-daughter relationships they form and the homes that they connect with. While the characters within the two novels both undergo a search for self-identification, the formal structures of the two narratives are different. The Bluest Eye uses differing narrative perspectives, with the character, Claudia serving as the primary narrator. In contrast, Ruth narrates Housekeeping herself, offering an internal understanding and perspective. Overall, the different narration styles within The Bluest Eye and Housekeeping play a significant role in the way the audience follows the characters’ search for self-identification, as it is

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