Women. When hearing that word alone, you think of weakness, their insignificance, and how lowly they are viewed in society. Females can be seen as unworthy or nothing without a man if they are not advocating them and are constantly being treated differently from men. However, in the book, “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, they live up to their reputations for how they view themselves. Specifically, being focused on women like Pecola, and Claudia. They are often questioning their worth from society’s judgement of beauty. Though one character, Frieda embraces it despite being black. With having everything temporary, the desire of grasping and having something permanent increases. The women desires to be of
Throughout all of history there has been an ideal beauty that most have tried to obtain. But what if that beauty was impossible to grasp because something was holding one back. There was nothing one could do to be ‘beautiful’. Growing up and being convinced that one was ugly, useless, and dirty. For Pecola Breedlove, this state of longing was reality. Blue eyes, blonde hair, and pale white skin was the definition of beauty. Pecola was a black girl with the dream to be beautiful. Toni Morrison takes the reader into the life of a young girl through Morrison’s exceptional novel, The Bluest Eye. The novel displays the battles that Pecola struggles with each and every day. Morrison takes the reader through the themes of whiteness and beauty,
“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.
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.
Toni Morrison highlights this best in her novel “The Bluest Eye”. “Except for an occasional and unaccountable insurgent who chose a black, they married “up” lightening the family complexion and and thinning out the family features”(Morrison 168). Throughout the book Morrison depicts the differences in treatment of the lighter end and the darker end of the African American race. In Morrison’s book there was a character by the name of Maureen Peal and because Peal was a biracial child both black people and white people adored her, they didn’t abuse her with their words or actions. Peal was safe from the violence against her race and believe she was not black because of it, as though being black was a curse that should feared. Similar to Maureen Peal we are introduced to another character in her same position, her name was Geraldine. With Geraldine readers are able to see the economic differences between black people. Morrison describes the light skinned woman's house as being beautiful and large in contrast the the main character Pecola’s clothes described as “dirty and torn”(Morrison 89-91). This division has carried through the 21st century; today people are still characterising others by the complexion of their skin. Things have improved
In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison strongly ties the contents of her novel to its structure and style through the presentation of chapter titles, dialogue, and the use of changing narrators. These structural assets highlight details and themes of the novel while eliciting strong responses and interpretations from readers. The structure of the novel also allows for creative and powerful presentations of information. Morrison is clever in her style, forcing readers to think deeply about the novel’s heavy content without using the structure to allow for vagueness.
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.
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).
In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, the characters' eyes are everything. The word "eye" appears over and over with rich adjectives that describe color, movement, and nuance of expression to signify a character's mood and psychological state. Morrison emphasizes the paradox of eyes: Eyes are at times a window to enlightenment, however, what eyes see is not always objective truth, but instead a distortion of reality into what a person is able to perceive.
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.
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
For decades there has been an ongoing discussion on society’s standards of beauty and what makes someone beautiful. In Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye she challenges white standards of beauty. Just like today, the society in Loraine, Ohio establishes a standard of beauty, and this beauty is defined as being as close to white as possible, having blonde hair, blue eyes, and a “Jack and Jill” family. Most of the characters in The Bluest Eye attempt to conform to society’s standards (complicating this idea) and believe if they can achieve at least one of the aspects of beauty their life will be better and they will be treated in higher regards. Through the female characters of Pecola, Claudia, Maureen, Geraldine, and Rosemary it is prevalent that there is a spectrum of beauty and the person who is closest to this standard, white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes, is considered pretty and is respected by society, while a person who is not close to this standard is considered ugly and is treated poorly by society. By ascribing to society’s expectations of beauty, Geraldine extends the role of white supremacy and undermines her own self-worth.
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.