She wrote that her inspiration for the story was a conversation she had had when she was little with another little black girl who had a fascination with blue eyes, much like her character Pecola Breedlove. Morrison is known for her stories that circle around how racism and misogyny affect black women. For The Bluest Eye, a little girl named Pecola Breedlove goes insane from the inhumane treatment she faces as an eleven-year-old african american girl in the Great Depression. There are many points in the book where she is dehumanized and treated less than dirt, even by her own parents. Her father in a bid to feel in control despite how much white men have controlled him, rapes his daughter and she becomes pregnant with his child.
Delicate and sensitive, she passively suffers the abuse of her mother, father, and classmates. She is a symbol of the black community’s self-hatred and belief in its own ugliness. Others in the community, including her mother and father, act out their own self-hatred by expressing hatred towards her. Pecola’s desire for blue eyes comes from her stereotypical perception that as a black female, she needs to look beautiful to be treated beautifully. She believes that being granted the blue eyes that she wishes for would change both how others see her and what she is forced to see.
Tori Morrison succeeds at getting the awareness out about the impact of internalized racism, and how far people go when it comes to wanting to change their appearance. During the times in the Bluest Eye, according to society, to look beautiful, you had to be white or light skin with blue eyes. The darker shade of brown you were the uglier and poorer you seemed to people. For example, when Pecola was asked by a boy, Junior, to go into his house to see his cat. After the boy tortures the cat and eventually killing it, his mother comes into the door.
In the novel, The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, Claudia Macteer is depicted as the polar opposite of the novel 's main protagonist, Pecola Breedlove. Whilst Pecola is surrounded by constantly fighting parents and is even victimized by one of her parents, Claudia was able to grow up in a stable household with loving parents that support both of their children, Claudia and Frieda. Claudia also has a very strong demeanor; she often takes action in many of the plots throughout the novel. Pecola, on the other hand, acts very child-like in some events in the novel and is very frail and closed in. In this novel, Morrison inserted a debate in which she never intended to write into the pages for us, as the readers, to figure out: a Nature vs Nurture
The Bluest Eye There is a common association between skin color and cleanliness, where white is often associated with being clean, while black or brown is associated with being dirty. Tori Morrison uses this conceptual connection in The Bluest Eye, a novel exploring the life of Pecola and her search for social acceptance through the eyes of Claudia, to convey a hidden issue rooted in the black community. Throughout the book, numerous adults in Pecola's life search for "cleanliness. " Their concept of cleanliness and dirtiness in The Bluest Eye intertwine with Pecola's self-perception and quest for acceptance. Pecola's character emphasizes the internalized belief in some African American girls that their identity is inherently dirty, which leads
The novel expresses this throughout the book, “Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs - all the world had agreed that a blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned doll was what every girl child treasured.” Most people thought that if you weren’t white then you were ugly. Pecola wants blue eyes because she thinks then, people would think she was beautiful and see her as a
The Bluest Eye was written by Toni Morrison, and published in the year 1970. The novel details the complex life of one black girl growing up in Ohio in the 1940s. In this world, a part of our past, there existed a strong social stratification that separated people by race, by gender and by class. While most people think of the Deep South as the territory where racism and poverty thrived, the truth is that the North wasn’t as good as people think. Racism was a strong force that controlled the lives of everyone, from every creed and color and this book artfully shows the consequences of this Racism.
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.
Later in the book we find out that, she is raped by her father, Cholly. Pecola’s curiosity to find and maintain Blue eyes causes her to lose her innocence as a child. Pecola’s parents also added to the problems she had to deal with, her parents were always fighting which ultimately led to Pecola becoming crazy. In the beginning the first time Pecola started paying attention to her physical ugliness was when her parents were fighting.
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.
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.
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.
The novel is mostly written from Claudia MacTeer’s perspective, who is portrayed as the opposite of Pecola. Instead of falling into society’s norms, Claudia accepts her beauty and wants to seek out her own truth. Although both girls don’t grow up in loving families, Pecola has much difficult times as her father, Cholly, has shown her nothing but hatred. Morrison is writing this novel to express how hurtful men are and what it leads to. She explores the cruelty of men and it cannot be better portrayed
In The Bluest Eye, Morrison offers multiple perspectives to help explain the intensity of racism and what it means to be oppressed and degraded in society. Through the eyes of various characters, readers are taken on a journey during the 1940s to demonstrate how each black character copes with the unfair standards and beliefs that society has. While some of the characters internalize self-hatred and have the desire to be someone else, others do not wish to change themselves to fit into the societal standards. Throughout the novel, there are clear and distinct remarks that are made to help distinguish the difference between white characters and black characters which is quite crucial. Morrison uses dirt and cleanliness to symbolize how society
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