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
Morrison’s authorship elucidates the conditions of motherhood showing how black women’s existence is warped by severing conditions of slavery. In this novel, it becomes apparent how in a patriarchal society a woman can feel guilty when choosing interests, career and self-development before motherhood. The sacrifice that has to be made by a mother is evident and natural, but equality in a relationship means shared responsibility and with that, the sacrifices are less on both part. Although motherhood can be a wonderful experience many women fear it in view of the tamming of the other and the obligation that eventually lies on the mother. Training alludes to how the female is situated in the home and how the nurturing of the child and additional local errands has now turned into her circle and obligation.
The movie clearly exposes the many ways that the human dignity of African- American maids was ignored. They had suffered daily embarrassment but were able to claim their own way dignity. The film described about empowerment of individuals as well as about social justice for a group. It is a moving story depicting dehumanization in a racist culture but also the ability to move beyond the unjust structures of society and to declare the value of every human being. A young college graduate, Skeeter, returns home to be with her ailing mother, and in her ambition to succeed as a writer, turns to the black maids she knows.
She believes if African-American women were as confident, and strong as her they will be successful. In addition, by making herself this powerful goddess who exercises her language as an art form which is a way for African-American women to showcase strength and power. Nikki does not acknowledge equality for just some women but she wants equality for all women and sexism is something that requires rejection. In line 7 of “Ego-Tripping,” Nikki says that, “She is bad” emphasizing how astonishing of a woman she is for the many plentiful accomplishments she holds giving her that incredible sense of identity. According to Nikki Giovanni in lines 47-51 of Ego-Tripping she stresses that any goal is achievable if faith is on the
Irene tries to fit into the mold of what is expected of a women in society but strays away from her true identity. Irene, being able to “pass” as white, chooses to remain loyal to her roots and embrace her black identity but she is not satisfied. Irene considers herself to be high ranked in the black society because she is married to a doctor, Brian, and judges other women by their husband. “Gertrude, Irene thought, looked as if her husband might be a butcher” (25). This shows that Irene judges based on appearance and likes to think highly of herself.
The novel’s protagonist, Janie Crawford, a woman who dreamt of love, was on a journey to establish her voice and shape her own identity. She lived with Nanny, her grandmother, in a community inhabited by black and white people. This community only served as an antagonist to Janie, because she did not fit into the society in any respect. Race played a large factor in Janie being an outcast, because she was black, but had lighter skin than all other black people due to having a Caucasian ancestry. As a child, Janie did not even realize that she was actually black until she shown in a photograph among a group of white children.
Morrison has vividly justified the white ideological oppression and how Pecola internalizes and manipulates it. The novel has the vigor of relating the incidents precisely to draw analogy between the ambivalent aspects of black temperament. Pecola gets ignored by the white folk which is quite fathomable, but the anger and dislike shown to her by her mother (and a sweet attitude towards the white child) is puzzling and problematic. Morrison through a post-modernistic stance problematizes the concept of black identity through the ambivalent attitude of Breedlove family. Mrs. Breedlove finds a reflection of her own in Pecola which is “ugly” not only for others but for her also.
Toni Morrison is the most important contemporary women novelists and critics in African-American Literature.The descriptive-analytical method of study by analyzing the situations, the characters and themes, the status of women in Literature are revealed and represented. Morrison very well describes how different women characters react and respond differently to the injustice and the inhumanity imposed on them in African-American society. African American writers are concerned with the lack of literature fostering strong female models. These women are bonded by their journey to overcome the internalization of controlling patriarchal perceptions and images of women, like the repressive stereotypes that permeate literature. Toni Morrison use of binary oppositional characters, mirrors, inversions, and metafiction, to deconstruct the stereotypical roles of both men and women, underscoring the role that literature plays in creating self-identity problems when women try to imitate fictional characters.
Symbolism and authors style and its effect on the plot In literature, authors will often utilize symbolism in order to develop characters and plot. In The Bluest Eye, the author, Toni Morrison portrays an African American girl named Pecola, who is stricken with longing for a better life. As she muddles through her difficult childhood, her once innocent interpretation of race and beauty are deformed by the beauty standards that dominated the mid-20th century society. She believes that beauty is dependent upon love, and her self-image, in particular, her eyes, plays a big role in the novel. She consistently attributes her struggles and failures to her lack of blue eyes, and believes that by having blue eyes, her struggle will go away.
Pecola is very lonely and ordinary black girl and the most important reason for her desire for blue eyes is that she wants to treated differently from her family and friends. Pecola believes and feels that she can overcome this battle and thoughts of self-hatred by obtaining blues eyes. The choice of blue eyes is due to the racial society she has grown up in. "Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window sign, all the world had agreed that a blue eyed yellow, haired, pink, skinned doll was what every girl child treasured"(The Bluest Eye p.20.21). Any community views that the blue eyes are synonyms of
A Researched Analytical Essay: The Bluest Eye In the novel “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, we are provided an extended interpretation of how whiteness is the standard of beauty, which distorts the lives of black women and children, through messages everywhere that whiteness is superior. The theme of race and that white skin is greater is portrayed through the lives and stories told by the characters, especially the three girls Claudia, Pecola and Frieda. Through the struggles those people have endured, Morrison shows us the destructive effect of this internalized idea of white beauty on the individual and on society. “The Bluest Eye” has a number of elements that relate closely to Toni Morrison’s own personal life. The story is set in Lorain, Ohio, the town in which Morrison grew up.
Beauty can be found within, but for many, it is how you look on the outside. Many try to fulfill the society’s standards of being beautiful. In this case, a little, black girl, who lives in a white society, attempts to reach this standard. Her desire for external beauty results in insanity. In Toni Morrison’s, The Bluest Eye, the use of symbolism presents itself through the allusion of a “Dick and Jane” story, blue eyes, and physical beauty.
The messages that Nanny passed down to Janie were generational and cursed Nanny in the same way that it cursed Janie. Nanny attempts to protect her grandchild from vulnerability in a world that demands she be a constant symbol of strength. In her book Saints, Sinners Saviors : Strong Black Women in African American Literature author Trudier Harris explains the intentions of the older generation of black women They protect themselves from vulnerability, from outward expressions of love that might cause them to make wrong decisions, and the distancing postures are what they continue to rely on. (Harris) Black women are taught to shield themselves from vulnerability which keeps them from being able to form meaningful relationships with potential lovers. Before either Janie or Tracy were able to redefine their expectations of love they had to experience the disappointments that came with basing their ideas about romance on their elders’
The white women is oppressed but relishes in the freedom of her race. The black woman faces a unique combination of prejudice for both her gender and the color of her skin. When society tries to separate humanity into categories, including “ladies” and “colored people,” it is made unclear where we belong, according to Cooper. The women’s movement that is sweeping the nation is meant to teach courteousness and compassion, yet the white woman still looks down upon the black woman as her inferior. Likewise, while she acknowledges that some members of the black community have received honors, the race will not rise from oppression until the whole race does so, particularly black women.
For example, in the past a Black woman with natural hair could be seen as a culturally “woke” individual. On in another context, a woman with kinky hair may have been called nappy and painted as someone who didn’t care about their appearance. On the other side, a black woman with straight hair may have been complimented for having “good” hair or she may have be seen as having a colonized mind. These are the views that exist in society and they are just some of the pressures put on black women not only by non-blacks, but also by others within the black community and they affect black women every day. These views and expectations of what Black hair should look like has played out in the media though depictions of characters in movies and vixens in music videos and even in the work place.