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The Bluest Eye Critical Analysis

Decent Essays
Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye follows the racial tensions in the primarily black town of Loraine, Ohio at the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of the Second World War. Morrison utilizes a combination of first and third person narration in order to convey significant themes in the novel and shape the novel’s tone. The Bluest Eye begins with homages to both styles of narration: first with a short excerpt from Dick and Jane that later introduces each chapter narrated in the third person, and then with “Quiet as it’s kept…” and a briefly italicized prologue narrated by Claudia that foreshadows the events that take place later in the novel. This clear division in the prologue of the novel sets the tone for the shifting narrative perspectives that remain present for the duration of the novel. These shifting perspectives provide the reader with a more intimate view into Pecola’s story (as displayed in Claudia’s storytelling) as well as a contrasting depiction of how Pecola’s situation originated and its impact on the community of Loraine (through the omniscient third-person narration). The Bluest Eye begins by presenting a passage taken from a classic American children's book: Dick and Jane. This passage continually deteriorates until the reader is left with “...hereisthefamilymotherfatherdickandjaneliveinthegre...” which is an unpunctuated, unspaced, and uncapitalized jumble. A portion of this jumble becomes the title of each chapter that is narrated in the
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