Cultural Feminism In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye

856 Words4 Pages
Toni Morrison’s first novel The Bluest Eye (1970) makes a scathing attack on the imposition of white/Anglo-Saxon standards of beauty on black women and creation of cultural perversion. It presents a critique of the dominant aesthetic that is internalized by majority of the black community, and attempts to deconstruct the meta-ethnicity, which exercises a hegemonic control over the lives of blacks in America. The political connotations of ethnicity are derived from the desire of minority ethnic groups in a multi-ethnic society to resist oppression by the dominant culture. The celebration of a separate identity constitutes its cultural corollary. Thus The Bluest Eye becomes a powerful expression of Toni Morrison’s ethnic cultural feminism which…show more content…
The main idea in the novel is the domination of blacks by the existing American standards of beauty – blue eyes, blonde hair and white skin. It deals honestly and sensitively with the damaging influence of white standards and values on the lives of black people. It demonstrates how the systems of oppression are spawned and sustained by the white supremacist and exploitative culture. The analysis of the novel brings out the implications of the imposition of white dominant culture on black sensibility. It portrays in poignant terms the tragic conditions of blacks in racist America. It examines how the ideologies, perpetuated by the institutions controlled by the dominant group, influence the making of the self -image of black woman, thereby exposing the devastation caused by white cultural domination in the lives of Africans. The text informs us that eleven-year old Pecola is pubescent, half-child and half-woman. In the defining moment of sexual and psychic awakening, she is raped and impregnated by her father. Ironically he is the only person who regards her as
Open Document