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.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison takes place in Ohio in the 1940s. The novel is written from the perspective of African Americans and how they view themselves . Focusing on identity, Morrison uses rhetorical devices such as imagery, dictation, and symbolism to help stress her point of view on identity. In the novel Morrison argues that society influences an individual 's perceptions on beauty, which she supports through characters like Pecola and Mrs. Breedlove. Furthermore, Morrison illustrates how society shapes an individual 's character by instilling beauty expectations. Morrison is effective in relaying her message about the various impacts that society has on an individual 's identity through imagery, diction, and symbolism by showing
Claudia and Pecola both cared a lot about being perceived as beautiful, where Mindy only sought to make herself feel beautiful. Mindy Kaling knew that to be happy she could not compare herself to the icons of beauty, and thus lived a more carefree and upbeat. Unfortunately for the girls in The Bluest Eye they would only scrutinize these icons and identify what make people beautiful. Both authors wrote about image, just in very different ways, Kaling saw it as some societal expectations meant to be broken, where Morrison portrayed the
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison takes place in Ohio in the 1940s. The novel is written from the perspective of African Americans and how they view themselves. Focusing on identity, Morrison uses rhetorical devices such as imagery, dictation, and symbolism to help stress her point of view on identity. In the novel the author argues that society influences an individual 's perception on beauty, which she supports through characters like Pecola and Mrs. Breedlove. Furthermore, the novel explains how society shapes an individual 's character by instilling beauty expectations. Morrison is effective in relaying her message about the various impacts that society has on an individual 's character through imagery, diction,
Celie and Pecola are both victims of their father’s sexual abuse as young girls. These recurring events of their childhoods are catalysts that push them into emotional solitude. Pecola’s relationship with her dad is already somewhat unusual; there is no real connection between father and daughter due to Cholly’s selfish tendencies and complete lack of parenting skills. In a drunken stupor one Saturday afternoon, Cholly comes home to find Pecola washing dishes and then proceeds to “tenderly” rape his own daughter. This disgusting act of “love” in the eyes of Cholly is his personal attempt to fix Pecola’s “young, helpless, hopeless presence” (Morrison 161). Sadly, Pecola’s first and only child is a result of incest. In the words of Debra Werrlein,
Pecola and her mother, Pauline, see themselves as ugly because they hold themselves to beauty standards in which light-skinned people are the ideal. Pecola and her mother have a brutal home life due to the drunken violence of Cholly Breedlove, and the constant pressure of beauty standards only adds to their misfortune. Morrison explains this pressure by asserting that “[i]t was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they
In The Gathering of Old Men, by Ernest J. Gaines, and The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, the authors follow the story of different black communities and how they are affected by oppression. In The Gathering of Old Men a white man, Beau, is found dead in a black man’s yard, Mathu. Mathu’s ‘daughter’ brings together all of the black men in the surrounding neighborhoods to say that they were the ones who shot Beau. In The Bluest Eye a black child, Pecola, is oppressed in many ways throughout the story and near the end is raped by her father. The most substantial part of the story however, is afterwards and how she eventually becomes insane from the onslaught of oppression she faced. The commonality that these two stories is the use of characterization
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
The Bluest Eyes open with an anecdote of Dick and Jane to show how racism destroys the mental stability of black people. It equates whites with success and happiness while blacks with poverty and unhappiness. This traumatises the minds of Blacks and they begin to dislike their own heritage and skin colour in the white world of Dick and Jane.
Her Mama is always saying racist statements such as, “ ‘Shut that dern radio off, Maggie,’ Mama said. ‘I can’t stand all that news about the coloreds. All that stuff about them using the public parks’ (16). She also says, “ ‘I knows Cinda and Zeke and those other coloreds, Maggie,’ Mama said, the glass poised still, ‘and i guess it’s shameful enough you ‘ssociatin’ with them’ “ (222). Maggie was shut off from a world where equality was an idea, until, her colored friend Zeke tried explaining it to her through his job, “ ‘Maggie,’ he said, putting his face right next to mine, ‘don’t you see? We’s both dippin’ from the same bottle, Maggie. White or black’ “ (94). She was now starting to figure out that there was no right opinion, even though her mom made it seem that
The social standards of beauty and the idea of the American Dream in The Bluest Eye leads Mrs. Breedlove to feelings of shame that she later passes on to Pecola. The Breedloves are surrounded by the idea of perfection, and their absence of it makes them misfits. Mrs. Breedlove works for a white family, the Fishers. She enjoys the luxury of her work life and inevitably favors her work over her family. This leads Pecola to struggle to find her identity, in a time where perception is everything. Pecola is challenged by the idea that her mother prefers her work life, that they have an outdated house, and that she does not look like the Shirley Temple doll with blue eyes.
The book “The Bluest Eye” was based off African American families and struggles, they were poor and this was the time period after the Great Depression had ended. Nine year old Claudia lived with her parents and ten year old sister Frieda even though the family was barely making ends meet they were still living in an atmosphere of love and safety.In the book you could tell that was a house to go to in time of need anf you could feel secure. The family shared their home with several people one of them a young girl, Pecola, who had moved in with the MacTeer family after her father tried to burn down their families home. Claudia’s mother had a good heart but often felt like she was taken for granted, “Time for me to get out of the giving line
Root, Identity and Community have always been the underlying theme of Toni Morrison. Through the accounts of her novels, Toni Morrison shows several ways in which slavery, which was the most oppressive period in the black history, has affected the identity of African American. In Bluest Eye, Morrison shows that a black woman who searches for her true identity feels frustrated by her blackness and yearns to be white because of the constant fear of being rejected in her surroundings. Thus Morrison tries to locate post colonial black identity in the socio-political ground where cultures are hybridized, powers are negotiated and individuals are reproduced as resistant agents. She not only writes about claiming the superiority by the white but also
1) Society has change the way Pecola perceives herself and she has the idea in her mind that her life would be less miserable if she has blue eyes. She is always thinking that “if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different” (Morrison 46). Pecola has gotten the impression of her life being complete if only she has blue eyes. She would see the eyes of others and become envious of their blue eyes. The boys at school would always pick on her and call her an ugly black girl. However, they would leave Pecola alone when they see her with Maureen Peal, described with “springtime eyes so wide with interest” (Morrison 66-67). 2) African Americans perceive that white Americans have a better lifestyle. According to the African American’s schema, “a white American ideal of the family unit [is] cohesive, happy, with love enough to spare to pets…it is desirable, but for man, particularly the black man, it is unattainable” (Ogunyemi 354). Pecola feels that if she had blue eyes, she could see the world the way white Americans do. Society has made her feel insecure and unacceptable because she has dark skin and brown eyes. She later becomes so desperate to get blue eyes that she “makes one final attempt to get blue eyes from a local interpreter of dreams, Soaphead Church” (“Overview: The Bluest Eye”). Pecola sees one of Soaphead’s advertisements, “If you are unhappy, discouraged, or in distress, I can help you…Satisfaction guaranteed” (Morrison 173), thinking he could help her with her misery of ugliness. He tells her he is unable to help her and only god could grant her the wish. The people around Pecola has made her feel self-conscious about herself and causing her to have a desire for blue eyes. Nonetheless, Pecola feel uncertain about herself as people bully her for being who she
Toni Morrison published her first book, The Bluest Eye, in 1970. In this novel, Toni Morrison shows how societies racist and false beliefs on beauty can be seriously destructive if believed and taken to heart. Toni Morrison displays the destructive nature of racialised beauty through the character in the novel named Pecola Breedlove. Pecola lacks self esteem and believes that she is the blackest and ugliest girl, and she believes that white is the only beautiful race. Morrison challenges Western standards of beauty and demonstrates that the idea of beauty is socially constructed. Toni Morrison shows how when one race is used as the standard of beauty, the value of the other races is diminished. The standard