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.
The social standards of beauty and the idea of the American Dream in The Bluest Eye leads Mrs. Breedlove to feelings of shame that she later passes on to Pecola. The Breedloves are surrounded by the idea of perfection, and their absence of it makes them misfits. Mrs. Breedlove works for a white family, the Fishers. She enjoys the luxury of her work life and inevitably favors her work over her family. This leads Pecola to struggle to find her identity, in a time where perception is everything. Pecola is challenged by the idea that her mother prefers her work life, that they have an outdated house, and that she does not look like the Shirley Temple doll with blue eyes.
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
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison takes place in Ohio in the 1940s. The novel is written from the perspective of African Americans and how they view themselves . Focusing on identity, Morrison uses rhetorical devices such as imagery, dictation, and symbolism to help stress her point of view on identity. In the novel Morrison argues that society influences an individual 's perceptions on beauty, which she supports through characters like Pecola and Mrs. Breedlove. Furthermore, Morrison illustrates how society shapes an individual 's character by instilling beauty expectations. Morrison is effective in relaying her message about the various impacts that society has on an individual 's identity through imagery, diction, and symbolism by showing
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
In The Gathering of Old Men, by Ernest J. Gaines, and The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, the authors follow the story of different black communities and how they are affected by oppression. In The Gathering of Old Men a white man, Beau, is found dead in a black man’s yard, Mathu. Mathu’s ‘daughter’ brings together all of the black men in the surrounding neighborhoods to say that they were the ones who shot Beau. In The Bluest Eye a black child, Pecola, is oppressed in many ways throughout the story and near the end is raped by her father. The most substantial part of the story however, is afterwards and how she eventually becomes insane from the onslaught of oppression she faced.
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
The Bluest Eye is a novel about a black girl named Pecola Breedlove who wishes for beauty in order to attain a better life. She faces emotional and physical conflicts throughout her childhood. At eleven years old, Pecola is raped by her alcoholic father and becomes pregnant. Unlike anyone else, Claudia and Frieda MacTeer, tries to help her through the pregnancy. However, Pecola’s baby ends up dying because it is premature. In Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye, she validates her theme of how society can corrupt people through the portrayal of a conflicted society of racism to show segregation between the white and nonwhite, symbolic blue eyes to portray what the characters desperately desire in order to have a better life, and an abused
Pecola Breedlove is conditioned to believe that she is ugly by her parents from a young age and “[hides] behind [her ugliness]” because she does not know any better (Morrison 38). She closes herself off to the world, thinking that her “ugliness” is a burden to those around her. Pecola’s brokenness forces her to idolize the images of something that she will never be; a Shirley Temple duplicate with curly blonde hair and rosy red cheeks. But, what Pecola yearns for the most is for Temple’s blue eyes—more specifically, she yearns for the bluest eye. In the words of Jacqueline de Weever, Pecola’s dream for blue eyes shows that “[she] wants, in fact to be white” (de Weever 5).
Rhetorical Analysis Essay The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison takes place in Ohio in the 1940s. The novel is written from the perspective of African Americans and how they view themselves. Focusing on identity, Morrison uses rhetorical devices such as imagery, dictation, and symbolism to help stress her point of view on identity. In the novel the author argues that society influences an individual 's perception on beauty, which she supports through characters like Pecola and Mrs. Breedlove.
They constantly encounter the problem of not living up to society’s beauty standards, which results in feelings of self-hatred based on race. These feelings perpetuate racism, as society, and even black people, tend to favor white beauty since it is held up as superior. The problems that Pecola, Pauline, and Claudia face in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye are not just figments of the past. Today, millions of women across the country feel some sort of self-loathing stemming from dissatisfaction over how they look. It is important that society tries to free itself from these nonsensical standards and celebrate the unique beauty of each individual
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
Internalization of Color-effect in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye The Bluest Eye is a novel Toni Morrison wrote moved by a reaction she happened to experience in her early childhood after having a conversation with a black little girl who cherished for blue eyes. It came as a shock for the writer to learn that a black girl as like as she was, being dissatisfied with her appearance was longing for blue eyes that she considered the symbol of beauty. Simply that little girl wanted to be beautiful what she believed she was not.
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.
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.