In her first novel, The Bluest Eyes, Toni Morrison explores the destructive effects of racial prejudice upon Afro-Americans. It also projects the Afro-American folk culture in process. From folk culture to the blues, from folk speech to myths and other beliefs, Lorain, Ohio, shares with historical black folk communities patterns of survival and coping tradition that comfort in times of loss, and beliefs that point to an enduring creativity. This assignment will focus on reconnecting fragments of Afro-American folk tradition in The Bluest Eye. The black population of Lorain, Ohio, participates in traditions that foster black survival, comfort in times of need, and enduring creativity. Against this grain, Pauline and Cholly Breedlove erroneously accept the myth of the north as a place where blacks become socially and economically free. As a result they lose their abilities to use the old folk forms that sustained generations of rural blacks, and thus they broke chains of continuity in black culture. The Breedloves …show more content…
When such caring disappears, disastrous results ensue. Thus, Morrison offers a part of the pattern of black interaction that sustains against the dissolution represented by Pauline’s refusal to mother her children, Geraldine’s distortion of the notion of family and Cholly’s destructive abuse of his daughter. The description of M’Dear is a reminiscent of historical folk communities. M’Dear “was a quiet woman who lived in a shack near the woods” (108), is usually called in when all the “ordinary means” of curing illness have failed. She advices Aunt Jimmy to “drink pot liquor and nothing else” (108). M’Dear’s ties to the community, despite her seeming outsider status, provide another contrast to Pecola, who, severed from those traditions that could incorporate her, merely remains outside the bonds of
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Toni Morrison, the author of The Bluest Eye, centers her novel around two things: beauty and wealth in their relation to race and a brutal rape of a young girl by her father. Morrison explores and exposes these themes in relation to the underlying factors of black society: racism and sexism. Every character has a problem to deal with and it involves racism and/or sexism. Whether the characters are the victim or the aggressor, they can do nothing about their problem or condition, especially when concerning gender and race. Morrison's characters are clearly at the mercy of preconceived notions maintained by society. Because of these preconceived notions, the racism found in The Bluest Eye is not whites against blacks. Morrison writes about
Throughout Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye, she captures, with vivid insight, the plight of a young African American girl and what she would be subjected to in a media contrived society that places its ideal of beauty on the e quintessential blue-eyed, blonde woman. The idea of what is beautiful has been stereotyped in the mass media since the beginning and creates a mental and emotional damage to self and soul. This oppression to the soul creates a socio-economic displacement causing a cycle of dysfunction and abuses. Morrison takes us through the agonizing story of just such a young girl, Pecola Breedlove, and her aching desire to have what is considered beautiful - blue eyes. Racial stereotypes of beauty contrived and nourished by
“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, is a story about the life of a young black girl, Pecola Breedlove, who is growing up during post World War I. She prays for the bluest eyes, which will “make her beautiful” and in turn make her accepted by her family and peers. The major issue in the book, the idea of ugliness, was the belief that “blackness” was not valuable or beautiful. This view, handed down to them at birth, was a cultural hindrance to the black race.
The desire to feel beautiful has never been more in demand, yet so impossible to achieve. In the book “The Bluest Eye”, the author, Toni Morrison, tells the story of two black families that live during the mid-1900’s. Even though slavery is a thing of the past, discrimination and racism are still a big issue at this time. Through the whole book, characters struggle to feel beautiful and battle the curse of being ugly because of their skin color. Throughout the book Pecola feels ugly and does not like who she is because of her back skin. She believes the only thing that can ever make her beautiful is if she got blue eyes. Frieda, Pecola, Claudia, and other black characters have been taught that the key to being beautiful is by having white skin. So by being black, this makes them automatically ugly. In the final chapter of the book, the need to feel beautiful drives Pecola so crazy that she imagines that she has blue eyes. She thinks that people don’t want to look at her because they are jealous of her beauty, but the truth is they don’t look at her because she is pregnant. From the time these black girls are little, the belief that beauty comes from the color of their skin has been hammered into their mind. Mrs. Breedlove and Geraldine are also affected by the standards of beauty and the impossible goal to look and be accepted by white people. Throughout “The Bluest Eye” Toni Morrison uses the motif of beauty to portray its negative effect on characters.
Racist ideology is institutionalized when how people’s interactions reflects on an understanding that they share the same beliefs. However, in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, the topic of racism is approached in a very unique way. The characters within the novel are subjected to internalizing a set of beliefs that are extremely fragmented. In accepting white standards of beauty, the community compromises their children’s upbringing, their economic means, and social standings. Proving furthermore that the novel has more to do with these factors than actual ethnicity at all.
The narration of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye is actually a compilation of many different voices. The novel shifts between Claudia MacTeer's first person narrative and an omniscient narrator. At the end of the novel, the omniscient voice and Claudia's narrative merge, and the reader realizes this is an older Claudia looking back on her childhood (Peach 25). Morrison uses multiple narrators in order to gain greater validity for her story. According to Philip Page, even though the voices are divided, they combine to make a whole, and "this broader perspective also encompasses past and present... as well as the future of the grown-up Claudia" (55).
Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye explores the impact of home on childhood, the formative years of any human. Throughout the book, she describes the childhoods of both adults, namely Polly Breedlove and Cholly Breedlove, and children, specifically Pecola, Claudia, and “Junior,” and leaves the reader to figure out how their childhoods shaped who they are. In the novel. Morrison argues that the totality of one’s childhood, including one’s home and experiences, is key in forming one’s disposition and character later in life. In doing so, Morrison wants the reader to see that the best defense against a predatory, racist society is the home.
Morrison’s critically acclaimed novel Beloved probes the most painful part of the African American heritage, slavery, by way of what she has called “rememory” -- deliberately reconstructing what has been forgotten.
Parents are the first role models that children are exposed to, making them immensely influential in the development of a child’s personality. The diverse group of parents in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, demonstrate the consequences of bad parenting on a child. Being set in 1940’s America, the black community in the book is still not fully accepted by society, and racism plays a significant role in the character’s lives. Here, readers are introduced to the Breedloves, a dysfunctional black family that is outcast from their community. Throughout the book, the parenting experienced by the Breedloves alters their perception of love, setting them up for failure as a
Pauline eventually meets Cholly, who is Pecola’s biological father, and they fall in love. "He seemed to relish her company and even to enjoy her country ways and lack of knowledge about city things. He talked with her about her foot and asked, when they walked through the town or in the fields, if she were tired. Instead of ignoring her infirmity, pretending it was not there, he made it seem like something special and endearing. For the first time Pauline felt that her bad foot was an asset. And he did touch her, firmly but gently, just as she had dreamed. But minus the gloom of setting suns and lonely river banks. She was secure and grateful; he was kind and lively. She had not known there was so much laughter in the world." (Morrison, p. 115)
There are many themes that seem to run throughout this story. Each theme and conflict seems to always involve the character of Pecola Breedlove. There is the theme of finding an identity. There is also the theme of Pecola as a victim. Of all the characters in the story we can definitely sympathize with Pecola because of the many harsh circumstances she has had to go through in her lifetime. Perhaps her rape was the most tragic and dramatic experience Pecola had experiences, but nonetheless she continued her life. She eliminates her sense of ugliness, which lingers in the beginning of the story, and when she sees that she has blue eyes now she changes her perspective on life. She believes that these eyes have been given
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison narrates the lives of two families, the MacTeer family and the Breedlove family. The novel digs into the themes of love, envy, and weakness, while maintaining a thick and interesting plotline. These themes are conveyed thoroughly through Morrison’s literary style. Toni Morrison’s powerful writing and structural techniques add depth to the novel, enhancing certain emotions while developing a riveting plot.
The concept of "the bluest eye" symbolizes unattainable beauty based on the blonde-haired, blue-eyed model that permeates 1940s Lorain, Ohio. Morrison initially presents the concept with a literary
Since childhood, we all have been taught that “racism is bad” and should be avoided at all costs. We have been told that “everyone is a child of God and we are all created equal.” In fact, Americans are praised for the so-called equality they possess. However, renowned author Toni Morrison sheds light on the sheltered and unspoken truth that everyone—to some extent—is racist. “Home” is a reflective essay in which Morrison explains that her triumphs against racist ideologies are evident throughout her various novels (“Home” 3). In Morrison’s first novel, The Bluest Eye, instead of establishing a home where race does not matter—a home which she dreams of in her essay—she creates just the opposite (3). In this novel, by using direct
Toni Morrison wrote The Bluest Eye in order to discuss race, gender, and class. She does a careful and intentional dance along the axis of oppression she is speaking on. Her pointed stories of abuse, self loathing, and rape are juxtaposed to the soft imagery of nature. The book is separated into four sections named after the seasons. Rarely does a page go by where Morrison does not wax poetic about marigolds, or set a scene with forsythia. And yet, though she uses these images to soften the setting in which atrocities take place, they are often used in such a manner that the harshness of the events bleed into the imagery. Creating the malevolent force that is nature in the novel, and the streak of ironic imagery that runs through Morrisons writing.