Supremacism In The Bluest Eye

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Toni Morrison, in numerous interviews, has said that her reason for writing The Bluest Eye was that she realized there was a book she wanted very much to read that had not been written yet. She set out to construct that book – one that she says was about her, or somebody like her. For until then, nobody had taken a little black girl—the most vulnerable kind of person in the world—seriously in literature; black female children have never held centre stage in anything. Thus with the arrival of the character Pecola Breedlove, a little hurt black girl is put to the centre of the story. Pecola’s quest is to acquire “Shirley Temple beauty” and blue eyes – ideals of beauty sponsored by the white world. Growing up, black children in America are constantly being overwhelmed by images of white children. This begs the question, then, where are the pictures and stories of black children? If a child is never exposed to positive images of people like herself, how will she ever grow to love herself or feel important? Throughout the novel Pecola thus searches for beauty aligned with white supremacist ideals, all the while hiding behind her constructed ugliness imposed on her by white society as well as her own. And as a result her real self is “concealed, veiled, eclipsed” (37) behind society’s devaluing of her self-worth because of physical attributes she cannot alter. Elizabeth Ann Beaulieu asserts that this obliteration of the self goes against the womanist principles which postulate
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