Labeling In The Bluest Eye

886 Words4 Pages
The world is filled with labels, some negative and some positive. When it comes to negative labeling, a person’s sense of beauty in themselves and in the world is impacted. In The Bluest Eye, author Toni Morrison uses her characters such as Pecola to illustrate how another’s labeling can alter the way one internalizes his or her own beauty; Morrison poses an overall negative storyline filled with labels and discrimination that in turn allows the reader to identify the highlighted and deeper beauty that is not always visible to the naked eye. Pecola, a young girl during a time of extreme racism and discrimination, is raised in an abusive and unstable home. The effects of the abuse on Pecola has a large impact on her views of the world and…show more content…
She has three cents in her shoe and could not be any more innocent or excited than a young child on their way to receive a treat that will wash all of their worries way. On the way, Pecola notices a dandelions sprouting around a telephone pole that catches her eye. “Why, she wonders, do people call them weeds? She thought they were pretty,” (47). Pecola has the ability to look at the simplicity of the flower, not its negative label as a weed that should be gotten rid of. Similar to the flower, she is treated by the way she has been labeled: as a poor, ugly, black girl. It is noticeable that the author points out Pecola’s ability to recognize the negative label of the flower and still find beauty within. After arriving at the store, the clerk treats her harshly due to her appearance and because of this Pecola has a hard time finding her confidence to do such a simple task such as buying a piece of candy. When leaving the store, Pecola is overwhelmed with shame and embarrassment of herself due to the ugly way the clerk interacted with her. While passing the flowers again, the narrator writes, “She thinks, ‘They are ugly. They are just weeds,” (50). After experiencing the internal labeling of Pecola that the clerk acts on, Pecola analyzes this treatment and believes it must be her own fault, as she is continuously treated so harshly and has never had anyone to show her what she
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