Toni Morrison: the Bluest Eye and Sula Essay

2313 Words Sep 24th, 1999 10 Pages
African- American folklore is arguably the basis for most African- American literature. In a country where as late as the 1860's there were laws prohibiting the teaching of slaves, it was necessary for the oral tradition to carry the values the group considered significant. Transition by the word of mouth took the place of pamphlets, poems, and novels. Themes such as the quest for freedom, the nature of evil, and the powerful verses the powerless became the themes of African- American literature. In a book called Fiction and Folklore: the novels of Toni Morrision author Trudier Harris explains that "Early folk beliefs were so powerful a force in the lives of slaves that their masters sought to co-opt that power. Slave masters used such …show more content…
My language has to have holes and spaces so the reader can come into it"(Harris 17). This style of writing that Morrison embraces is directly influenced by the African- American folklore tradition.<br><br>The Bluest eye is a story that shows on going problems that effect the black race. The story is about cultural beliefs, which are the essence of folkloristic transmission. Early narratives and tales in African- American folklore were about discrepancies in wealth and social position between blacks and whites. This story transmits patterns and problems the have a negative impact on the black race. The story not only shows these patterns and problems but also shows how they go unresolved because the black race in the time of this book just accepted this way of life. The major issue in this book is the idea of ugliness. The belief that black was not valuable or beautiful was one of the cultural hindrances to black people throughout their history in America. Morrison emphasizes that the entire Beedlove family believes that they are ugly. Without any visible markers to show that belief, they nonetheless act and react as if it were so. Having inherited the myth of unworthiness, the Breedloves can only live the outlined saga to its expected conclusion. Because Pecola believed she was ugly, she never had any type of self- esteem or confidence. Then being raped by her father, Cholly Breedlove, Pecola was destined to go insane. In

More about Toni Morrison: the Bluest Eye and Sula Essay

Open Document