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Whiteness In The Bluest Eye

Good Essays
Toni Morrison’s first novel, The Bluest Eye, challenges Western standards of beauty. The book also expresses that the perception of beauty is socially constructed. With its richness of language and boldness of vision, it also recognises the possibility of whiteness used as a standard of beauty and blackness being diminished. Toni Morrison focuses on the black female characters, Pauline and Pecola Breedlove, suffering through the construction of femininity in an ethnicized society. This essay will discuss these two characters as being “absented” from reality, since they are rejected as ugly. I will substantiate this essay by making use of two major theories: “Repetition-in-Rapture” by Gayatri Spivak and “Powers of Horror, an Essay on Abjection” by Julia Kristeva. The essay will also offer various textual evidence to show the outcome of each character’s internalised oppression.
The Bluest Eye explores the remaining effects of black self-hatred through the main characters of Pecola and Pauline Breedlove. Both of these black female characters are consumed with the constant culturally-imposed concepts of Western beauty and purity to the point where they have detached with themselves. Furthermore, as an effect, have a disastrous tendency to subconsciously act out
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Spivak (1987: 202) states that “The rupture shows itself to be also a repitition.They fall back upon notions of conciousness-as-agent, totally, and upon a culturalism, that are discontinuous with the critique of humanism. They seem unaware of the historico-political provenance of their various Western ‘collaborators’”. This theory can briefly then be described as the previously oppressed becoming the oppressor. Hence it can be said that Pecola Breedlove and her family are oppressed within their own black community, who are also oppressed by the white
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