Essay on the bluest eye

Submitted By cnerdura
Words: 694
Pages: 3

Literature is often used as a tool to raise awareness of social problems. The novel The Bluest Eye, written by Toni Morrison, portrays the life of an eleven-year old, Pecola Breedlove, which appears as a delicate and fragile character, who has been victim of racism and violence. During the course of the novel, the author displays the main character problematic family life, full of suffering and pain from which it derives her fascination for white girls by seeing herself in a derogatory way. In this narrative, Morrison uses some elements such as beauty standards based on white people, self-conception, abuse, etc to expose the seriousness of racism in the life of young Pecola.

Since the beginning of the novel, Morrison shows Pecola’s family living in the storefront because they were poor and black; therefore they believed they were ugly. They consider their features were unpleasant, they had “the small eyes set closely together under a narrow forehead, (…) irregular hairlines, heavy eyebrows and crooked noses” They consider themselves horrible not by the fact that they were for real ugly, but thanks to the standards of beauty which were based on white people physical appearance. The drama in Pecola’s life with an abusive father and negligent mother, and the violence between both, makes this little girl fantasize on having beautiful, blue eyes and by it, making her life change surprisingly as a magic trick. She thought her life would improve since having blue eyes not only would make her change the way she look, but she would not longer be ugly and people would not longer do nasty things to her. It is interesting that this character feels no desire to change her skin color, but her eyes because Pecola’s true purpose was to be seen differently and to see things different, which it explains her focus on sight. Her self-conception of being ugly for not having blue eyes and therefore look like white girls makes Pecola live an identity crisis.

During this era, blackness was considered a symbol for dirtiness, and white for pureness. Racism came to a high level during this time, and the novel illustrates this by exposing the obsessive behavior of Pecola's mother, Mrs. Breedlove to have everything clean, organized and white. She was entirely dedicated only to carefully clean the house of her employers and pay much more attention to the girl who she took care, which obviously was white, than her own daughter Pecola, which could not even call her mother how a typically girl would call hers “mom,” but Mrs. Breedlove. This obsessive behavior from