Through her statement on the impairment that internalized racism can do to the most vulnerable member of a community— Pecola; a young girl, Morrison jumps out of the tradition of African-American literature that “Portrays racism as a definite evil” (Eichelberger, 1999, p.59). Whiteness within this novel is said to be the symbol of goodness and innocence. The blacks in the novel are unhappy that they are not part of the dominant race. The main characters in this novel are marginalized people. Their status in the society causes them to feel subjugated.
The protagonist of The Bluest Eye is a young African American girl named Pecola Breedlove. She is introduced by Claudia, a young African-American girl with who Pecola builds a friendship, as a “girl who had no place to go” (16). Pecola struggles to accept her appearance and believes that the source of all the problems she encounters is her dark skin tone. In the book, Pecola chooses to hide “behind [her ugliness]” and be “concealed, veiled, eclipsed-peeping out from behind the shroud very seldom, and then only to yearn for the return of her mask” (39). She hid behind a mask in order to protect herself from the insults and discrimination she received from society.
The Bluest Eye: Beauty People often say that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” in The Bluest Eye this takes a new meaning. The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison 's first novel published in 1970. Set in the author 's hometown in Lorrain, Ohio, it narrates the story of a black little girl named Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for blue eyes like the ones her idol Shirley Temple has, because that way she will be beautiful and loved. Throughout the novel Toni Morrison takes us on Pecola 's journey to self-destruction because she lives in world that doesn 't find her beautiful or even worth to be looked at.
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
Furthermore, the name of Pecola's family (Breedlove) is very ironical. As a matter of fact, this family has no relation with love; Cholly, the father, hates his children and Pauline, the mother, prefers the Fisher family whom she works at because "power, praise, and luxury were hers in this household", (Morrison, 128). In addition, there is a whole chapter in the novel which represents a great example of irony in page 132. Morison begins some of her chapters with parts of Dick and Jane story which contradicts with character's real life. For example, “SEEFATHERHEISBIGANDSTRONGFATHERWILLYOUPLAYWITHJANEFATHERISSMILINGSMILEFATHERSMILESMILE".
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
In Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid, the author uses thematic symbols such as “the black thing” and Annie and her mother seeing “eye to eye” to guide the reader to a position where it is clear to see that Annie and her mother do not have the same, sweet relationship they used to have. Overtime, Kincaid develops the story in such a way where it is easy to see that the relationship between Annie John and her mother begins to go downhill and is not the same as it was in the beginning of the novel. Annie clearly begins to despise her mother as she realizes that her mother is not treating her like the little girl she used to be. In this passage of Annie John, the use of “the two black things” provides a clear example of how the Annie John and her mother are very similar, yet they are never able to retain a good relationship because there is space between them. Throughout the novel, there are many circumstances where Annie wants to be loved and treated like a child by her mother, however, her mother treats her in a different manner than what she expects.
The Bluest Eye tells the story of an eleven year old black girl, Pecola Breedlove, desires blue eyes because she sees herself as ugly and believes that by having blue eyes she will represent the white standards of beauty and it will also ensure that she receives love, care and support from others. The Bluest Eye is thus a very powerful study of how African-American families and particularly women are affected by racism and consequent sexual and mental abuse and how these women dwindle into madness. Morrison’s work is powerfully engaged with questions of history, memory and
The absence of a motherly figure can ultimately be a contributing factor of the poor decisions of each of the characters and their voice. While many authors desire for the female character to be independent and morally sound, the character often appears broken and disconnected from those around her, especially her mother. The female voice in a story is not only affect by the character herself but the environment she is in. A woman in her environment
“Reflection of Inner Self” series on my work Ndiyaphila Ninjani Nina? Conceptualization: The act of selflessness is often one that we are taught, as women, should come naturally to us. We are taught to be givers and forgivers. We are taught to help the wounded before we help ourselves. In my work “Ndiyaphila, Ninjani Nina?” depicts an enchained woman with a frustrated expression on her face.