The Bluest Eye

1389 Words6 Pages
Toni Morrison expresses ideas of intersectionality, discrimination, and self-hatred/acceptance through multiple perspectives in her book, “The Bluest Eye”. The book follows a young girl, Pecola Breedlove throughout her journey of self-hatred and longing for the cultural beauty of having blue eyes. Pecola believes that having blue eyes would allow her to lead a better life, as blue eyes match society’s definition of beautiful because of its connection with “whiteness”. This yearning for acceptance and physical beauty isolates Pecola, as she begins to believe that the inferiority and hate that is being reflected back at her, is who she is. Coupled with the background of her parents, this leaves Pecola with a great deal of shame and self-loathing,…show more content…
One of the first introductions we get of Pecola is when she has just begun to stay at the MacTeer’s house and Frieda brings her a cup of milk in a Shirley Temple cup. It is stated that, “She was a long time with the milk, and gazed fondly at the silhouette of Shirley Temple’s dimpled face. Frieda and she had a loving conversation about how cu-ute Shirley Temple was” (19). As the chapter goes on we see that Pecola has an obsession with Shirley Temple, as she develops a love for the Shirley Temple cup at the MacTeer’s house. “We knew she was fond of the Shirley Temple cup and took every opportunity to drink milk out of it just to handle and see sweet Shirley’s face” (23). It can already be seen that Pecola is infatuated with the physical beauty that Shirley Temple held- the curly light brown hair, bright eyes, and dimpled…show more content…
It is seen that both Pauline and Cholly Breedlove experience their own shares of misfortune that eventually do translate to the ways they treat Pecola. Pauline Breedlove is described as harsh and cold, as she is dissatisfied with her life. She herself struggles with the preconceived notions of beauty, as she believes her disabilities and features make her ugly. This affects the way she’s sees her life and her family, as she is disappointed that she does not have the “perfect” family because this will not win her favorable glances from other women. Pauline sees everything as a goal to be perfect and beautiful, as explained with the line, “Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another--physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion. In equating physical beauty with virtue, she stripped her mind, bound it, and collected self-contempt by the heap” (122). Pauline believes Pecola is ugly, seeing the ugliness which she believed was in herself, in Pecola. This translates to the way she treats Pecola and in some ways, to the image that Pecola sees herself. In addition, Cholly Breedlove has his own violent backstory that leads to his anger and frustration with his life. Cholly’s own unfortunate experiences, such as being left in the trash by his
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