Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye: Racial and Social-Cultural Problems Dealing with the Lost Identity of Young African American Women
2371 Words10 Pages
Mr. Henry moves into Claudia and Frieda's house. One day, the girls come home and when they walk in Mr. Henry greets them. He flatters them by telling them they look just like Greta Garbo and Ginger Rogers, two white American female actresses. These two actresses represented American society's ideal beauty, with their blonde hair and blue eyes. They, and other actresses like them, were so idealized by the media that it forced young American girls, both white and black, to question their own beauty if it differed from the standard of blond hair and blue eyes.
After seeing the cup with Shirley Temple on it, Claudia explains her ill feelings for her. Shirley Temple was the epitome of what all of America adored in little girls: her bouncy…show more content… Pecola's life away from her family is no better. She is often picked on and called ugly by those around her. Claudia and Frieda realize that the entire neighborhood agrees with Pecola that white features are beautiful.
Pecola's parents have both had difficult lives. Pauline always felt like an outsider in her family and constantly suffers through feelings of loneliness and ugliness. She wants to love her daughter but finds Pecola unattractive. Pauline works for a wealthy white family and finds her comfort in their house. Cholly was abandoned by his parents and brought up by his aunt. He was often humiliated by white people and built up a great rage toward whites and women. When he met and married Pauline, things were good for a time, but he soon felt trapped and unhappy. The marriage is dull, except for those moments when they are fighting.
One day, as he returns home and finds Pecola washing dishes, Cholly's life of desire wells up and he rapes his daughter. Pauline blames Pecola for the rape, seeing it as Pecola's fault.
Claudia MacTeer: Narrator of the story, she is nine years old and lives in a green and white run-down, but functional house.
Claudia despises the American ideals of beauty, which say that one must have blonde hair, blue eyes, and pink skin to be beautiful. She resents and even reacts violently to these ideals when she destroys the pretty white dolls given to