Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye

1281 WordsJul 14, 20186 Pages
Communities shape the way we think about ourselves and the people around us. They are a reflection of the ideas, beliefs and socio-economic realities that we share as a collective whole. Who we interact with and how they react to us can foster a sense of belonging or lead to rejection and isolation. In Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye, we see a community affected by poverty, institutionalized racism, sexual abuse and the influences it has on a little girl named Pecola Breedlove and how it shapes her own self image, as she is constantly reinforced with negative messages about herself and her family everywhere she goes. This eventually leads her to believe that there is something inherently wrong with her, and the only way that it can…show more content…
As Claudia recalls “We loved him. And even with what came later, there was no bitterness in our memory of him”(16). The amount of involvement of each of the girls parents shows how negative elements of the community influence and shape their experiences and protect their innocence. Rejecting up your identity can be akin to death itself, having far reaching repercussions and consequences down the road, spreading like a contagion from person to person. Morrison gives us an example with women she describes as “ They are the thin brown girls who have looked long at the hollyhocks in the backyards of Meridian, Mobile, Aiken and Baton Rouge“(81). These women have completely given in to the idea that hey must try to emulate white people in order to be accepted by society. They have learned to get rid of what Morrison describes as“ The dreadful funkiness of passion, the funkiness of nature, the funkiness of the wide range of human emotions “(83). In other words, they have given up their humanity for a false promise of inclusion, but what they have become however are simply willful slaves to the community, detatched from their own emotions. Geraldine is one such woman, who carefully and meticulously crafts an identity for herself that is devoid of anything personal, genuine or nurturing so as to be accepted by white society. This emotional repression manifests itself into
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