Theme Of Double Consciousness In The Bluest Eye

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Toni Morrison, the first black women Nobel Prize winner, in her first novel, The Bluest Eye depicts the tragic condition of the blacks in racist America. It examines how the ideologies perpetuated by the dominant groups and adopted by the marginal groups influence the identity of the black women. Through the depictions of white beauty icons, Morrison’s black characters lose themselves to self-hatred. They try to obliterate their heritage, and eventually like Pecola Breedlove, the child protagonist, who yearns for blue eyes, has no recourse except madness. This assignment focusses on double consciousness and its devastating effects on Pecola.
Double consciousness is a term coined by W.E.B. DuBois in his The Souls of Black Folk. He describes it as, “a peculiar sensation, this double consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity”(2). The theory of double consciousness is the idea that the African American must navigate the voyages of life from within a form of “two-ness” (2), because he is both man, and black.
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.
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