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The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison

Decent Essays
How the History of Slavery Influenced the Characters of The Bluest Eye
Unlike so many pieces of American literature that involve and examine the history of slavery and the years of intensely-entrenched racism that ensued, the overall plot of the novel, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, does not necessarily involve slavery directly, but rather examines the aftermath by delving into African-American self-hatred. Nearly all of the main characters in The Bluest Eye who are African American are dominated by the endless culturally-imposed concepts of white beauty and cleanness to an extent where the characters have a destructive way of latently acting out their own feelings of self-hatred on others, especially other African-Americans.
Toni Morrison’s novel focuses more on the complex and ultimately profound depiction of the effects of racism by emphasizing how self-loathing destroys the African-American characters, instead of making the storyline about specific events that center around racism and the grave history of slavery alone. One example from the novel is how the narrator describes the Breedlove family as ugly, “You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious and all-knowing master had given each one of them a cloak of ugliness to wear and they had each accepted it without question” (Morrison 39). This excerpt from
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