Analysis Of Pecola's Eye, By Toni Morrison

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Later in the book, Toni Morrison uses Pecola’s own conviction of being “ugly” to show that she truly believes that if she changed her physical appearance to match those at the top of the race and beauty hierarchies, her perception of her reality would be ameliorated. Back at home after her parents’ fight, Pecola ponders the unfair way she is treated by teachers compared to her Caucasian classmates at school. When the narrator says, “It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes, those eyes that held the pictures, and knew the sights—if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different. Maybe they’d say, ‘Why, look at pretty-eyed Pecola. We mustn’t do bad things in front of those pretty eyes’” (46), Morrison suggests that Pecola believes that her identity is based on her eyes and that attaining beauty would be the solution for gaining acceptance from others. The “pictures” and the “sights” the narrator refers to are her memories or experiences. “Those eyes” are what allow people to see the world and are often referred to as symbols of truth and “the windows to the soul.” Pecola’s desire to change her eyes means that she wants to alter the truth: her race, her self-imposed “ugliness,” her experiences, her identity—everything that makes her who she is. In this quote, Pecola believes that the word “different” means to be “beautiful.” When Pecola believes that “if those eyes of her” were “different,” she believes that altering
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