She is taken in by a local family, but eventually goes back to live with her abusive parents. Pecola’s parents hate themselves and each other which is expressed in equal measures of violence and neglect. Pecola is raped by her father and impregnated, but the child does not survive premature birth. Eventually, Pecola pleads with a town mystic to grant her wish of having blue eyes, believing this “mark of beauty” will finally earn her the love she so desperately craves. Pecola finally loses her sanity, believing her wish granted, and spends the rest of her life in a world of fantasy on the edge of
In her interview to the newspaper The Gurdian Morrison says, “In this country American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate” (Jan 29 1992). Racial bigotry in The Bluest eye is an obvious indication of Toni Morrison’s concern, to describe creatively the insensitivity of the white folks towards black. Pecola, the Chief character in The Bluest Eye is the most woeful creation who consistently suffers the racial discrimination. Her own mother Pauline Breedlove abuses Pecola by treating the white girl of her employers as superior to her just because of the colour.
She is ugly for being black and cast aside for being poor. These traits do not make actually cause her to be ugly in and of the term itself, but the way her society views these traits does. The prostitutes draw Pecola to them as not only are they are the few people who do not view her as ugly, but they do not view themselves as ugly. Instead they accept Pecola as she is. They draw her in and speak to her as their equal, a luxury that Pecola has yet to experience.
To begin with, Morrison presents with the character of Pecola a feeble, low self-esteem person who is under the spell of the stereotype of white beauty. She considers herself ugly because she does not have the physical attributes of this aesthetic ideal. Moreover, she is influenced by the gaze of the other: how the others see her reinforce the idea that she is not beautiful, lowering even more her self-esteem. As a result, she stands for the tragedy of the self-conscious individual. This is, she is not aware that she does not need to have the white beauty attributes in order to be somebody due to she is an individual by herself.
In the novel, The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, Claudia Macteer is depicted as the polar opposite of the novel 's main protagonist, Pecola Breedlove. Whilst Pecola is surrounded by constantly fighting parents and is even victimized by one of her parents, Claudia was able to grow up in a stable household with loving parents that support both of their children, Claudia and Frieda. Claudia also has a very strong demeanor; she often takes action in many of the plots throughout the novel. Pecola, on the other hand, acts very child-like in some events in the novel and is very frail and closed in. In this novel, Morrison inserted a debate in which she never intended to write into the pages for us, as the readers, to figure out: a Nature vs Nurture
Likewise, Morrison also uses symbolism for the duration of the novel to establish how people can judge a person based on their economic standing. For instance, symbolism is represented through the blue eyes that is repeatedly mentioned in the novel. The blue eyes represent the idealistic white middle class life that Pecola dreams of having since white people commonly have blue eyes. The reader can infer this suggestion because whenever Pecola is experiencing bad things she wishes to have blue eyes. Morrison writes, "If she looked different, beautiful, maybe Cholly would be different and Mrs. Breedlove too…Each night, without fail, she prayed for the blue eyes…
Pecola and her mother, Pauline, see themselves as ugly because they hold themselves to beauty standards in which light-skinned people are the ideal. Pecola and her mother have a brutal home life due to the drunken violence of Cholly Breedlove, and the constant pressure of beauty standards only adds to their misfortune. Morrison explains this pressure by asserting that “[i]t was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they
It is the mother’s vulnerability to the racial standards of beauty that is transmitted to the daughter and ultimately leads to her victimization. In fact, the reason of Pauline’s vulnerability to the racially prejudiced notions of beauty lies in her relationship with her own mother. The relationship between Pecola Breedlove, the protagonist, and her mother, Pauline Breedlove, is ironically characterized by lack of love, and emotional attachment, indifference, frustration and cruelty. Set in a small town in Ohio, during the Depression, The Bluest Eye is the story of eleven year old Pecola Breedlove, who, victimized by the racist society, yearns for blue eyes, which, she believes, will make her worthy of love, happiness and acceptance in the
Pecola is challenged by the idea that her mother prefers her work life, that they have an outdated house, and that she does not look like the Shirley Temple doll with blue eyes. Morrison went into great detail when describing the elegance and beauty that was present in the Fisher home, to demonstrate that those who do not fit into the ideal American life often feel shame. The Breedlove family lived a very simple life, and in no way did they fit into what society believed to be correct. Mrs. Breedlove was the only member of the family that truly understood what the American Dream looked like. The work that she did for the Fishers lead her to envy the American Dream.
But it is not only the race and the colour of their skin what makes them unable to change their situation, but also poverty. Race and wealth are intertwined, and Pecola is the fundamental victim of this relationship, for she is a young black girl suffering from this ideology that determines her life. The dominant class imposes its values upon the other, for they think they are the best ones, reducing thus the personality of the people belonging to other classes, and at the same time, making them unable to change their oppressed situation, for they do not have the chance. They just accept their current position, and thus they will always be
Destructive Nature of Racialised Beauty Toni Morrison published her first book, The Bluest Eye, in 1970. In this novel, Toni Morrison shows how societies racist and false beliefs on beauty can be seriously destructive if believed and taken to heart. Toni Morrison displays the destructive nature of racialised beauty through the character in the novel named Pecola Breedlove. Pecola lacks self esteem and believes that she is the blackest and ugliest girl, and she believes that white is the only beautiful race.
1) Society has change the way Pecola perceives herself and she has the idea in her mind that her life would be less miserable if she has blue eyes. She is always thinking that “if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different” (Morrison 46). Pecola has gotten the impression of her life being complete if only she has blue eyes. She would see the eyes of others and become envious of their blue eyes. The boys at school would always pick on her and call her an ugly black girl.
Toni Morrison, the first black women Nobel Prize winner, in her first novel, The Bluest Eye depicts the tragic condition of the blacks in racist America. It examines how the ideologies perpetuated by the dominant groups and adopted by the marginal groups influence the identity of the black women. Through the depictions of white beauty icons, Morrison’s black characters lose themselves to self-hatred. They try to obliterate their heritage, and eventually like Pecola Breedlove, the child protagonist, who yearns for blue eyes, has no recourse except madness. This assignment focusses on double consciousness and its devastating effects on Pecola.
These oppressions persist today and so do their effects on black families and even more in young black people. Because Morrison makes the issue not only beauty but also our perception of ugli-ness in general, the problem of the “ugly little girl asking for beauty” is a cultural problem. Every time a young person looks in the mirror and sees that they are not as beautiful as a movie star or not as as beautiful as the television, magazine, and billboard ads tells them they should be, they feel the fear of rejection and abandonment, and through this novel, readers have experienced the emotional pain of that which destroyed Pecola. “Suffering with Pecola, knowing that pain con-sciously, feeling it, acknowledging it openly and directly, most of
Morrison 's first novel, The Bluest Eye, examines the tragic effects of imposing white, middle-class American ideals of beauty on the developing female identity of a young African American girl during the early 1940s. Inspired by a conversation Morrison once had with an elementary school classmate who wished for blue eyes, the novel poignantly shows the psychological devastation of a young black girl, Pecola Breedlove, who searches for love and acceptance in a world that denies and devalues people of her own race. As her mental state slowly unravels, Pecola hopelessly longs to possess the conventional American standards of feminine beauty—namely, white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes—as presented to her by the popular icons and traditions of white culture. Written as a fragmented narrative from multiple perspectives and with significant typographical deviations, The Bluest Eye juxtaposes passages from the Dick-and-Jane grammar school primer with memories and stories of Pecola 's life alternately told in retrospect by one of Pecola 's now-grown childhood friends and by an omniscient narrator. Published in the midst of the Black Arts movement that flourished during the late 1960s and early 1970s, The Bluest Eye has attracted