The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison

2396 Words10 Pages
Devin West
AP English 11
Mrs. Mariner
“The Bluest Eye”

Unlike so many works in the American literature that deal directly with the legacy of slavery and the years of deeply-embedded racism that followed, the general storyline of Toni Morrison’s novel, “The Bluest Eye”, does not engage directly with such events but rather explores the lingering effects by exploring and commenting on black self-hatred. Nearly all of the main characters in ”The Bluest Eye”, by Toni Morrison who are African American are consumed with the constant culturally-imposed notions of white beauty, cleanliness, and sanitation to the point where they have disengaged with themselves and have a disastrous tendency to subconsciously act out their feelings of self-loathing on other members of the black community. This is accomplished by offering readers multiple examples of this through the viewpoint-shifting narration of events and revelations that led to tremendous character complexity, as suggested in this literary analysis of “The Bluest Eye”, Toni Morrison is ultimately engaging her readers in a dialogue about how these characters (not to mention readers themselves) can overcome these hindrances to having a healthy relationship with self-images and interpersonal relationships. In presenting the various modes of escape and retreat into hollow notions of whiteness, Morrison demonstrates how this is a damaging way to work through so many years of being abject and objectified. However, as suggested in this

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