The Bluest Eye-Theme of Vision

1553 Words7 Pages
Toni Morrison’s highly acclaimed debut work, The Bluest Eye, is one of unquestionable beauty and intricately woven prose. As a fictional writer, Morrison avails herself of her literary faculties, using her mastery of description in order to convey an unusually lucid picture to the reader. The five senses seem to envelop a great deal of description in the novel, most notably that of sight. As has been discovered by virtue of studying the brain’s neural and cognitive machinery, vision occupies large regions of the brain. Although in a more abstract sense, vision’s disproportionate influence on the narrative and the story’s characters is greatly manifested in The Bluest Eye. One powerful way in which vision dictates many aspects of the novel…show more content…
Many characters in the novel, most frequently, Pecola, express feelings of being disregarded and invisible when interacting or in the vicinity of white people. In the passage about the Breedlove’s living situation, they are described as living in “anonymous” misery. The fact that they paradoxically live in anonymity despite being exposed to passersby on the street, introduces this prevailing theme. Conceivably one of the most memorable scenes that addresses this subject is when Mrs. Breedlove recounts giving birth. In referring to the doctors, she says, “They never said nothing to me. Only one looked at me. Looked at my face, I mean. I looked right back at him. He dropped his eyes and turned red. He knowed, I reckon, that maybe I weren’t no horse foaling” (125). By refusing to make eye contact with her and acknowledge her, the doctors, in a way, dehumanize her. She sees them, but they do not see her. They treat her as though she is an animal, rather than a sentient human being, and although uneducated, Mrs. Breedlove

is perceptive enough to notice this. She believes that if they were to lock eyes with her, they would realize something unpleasant: that she is no different from the white patients. With regard to invisibility, the early scene with Pecola in the candy shop also seems to be particularly telling. In speaking of Mr. Yacobowski, it says, “…he senses that he need not waste the effort of a glance. He does not
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