Toni Morisson's novel The Bluest Eye details the life of the Breedloves and African American family of Lorain, Ohio during the 1930’s. The focal point of the novel centers around the 11 year old daughter Pecola who is deeply struggling internally to overcome a bout of self hatred. Each day she faces racism not only from white people but mainly from her own race. In their eyes Pecolas dark skin translates as ugly and inferior. By obtaining blue eyes, she feels as if she can overcome this ugliness. Morrison counterbalances two points of view through Pecola: one, the sad consequences of racism, and two, agency and the resistance to this racism. All of this is shown through the struggles faced by young Pecola. In my paper I will touch on Morrisons use of agency through Pecola and how she displays the ways in which a community and family can become so distorted with notions of self worth, essentially furthering racism within the community and perpetuating social racism. Constant bickering between Pecola’s family and those around her lead to her emotional downfall. Pecola's misery blooms from the touch of her father's hand as well as the voice of her community's struggle with racial separation, anger, and ignorance. Her innocence is viciously taken from her already damaged existence and her community's anger and depression in regard to it's own insecurities are taken out on her being a poor, ugly, non ideal, little black girl. She tries to shied herself with the desire for blue eyes, but as we see, obtaining those eyes will not protect her from the racism and self hatred she experiences. While reading, I was intrigued by the way in which Morrison reveals to the reader through a broken girl like Pecola the damage that is caused by a society that is brainwashed by the seemingly inherent perfection and beauty of whiteness and the ugliness of blackness. Being that this book was written at the height of the “Black is Beautiful” movement it shows that not every one was buying into the movement and people such as Pecola still so desperately wished to achieve this white perfection. The "Dick and Jane" exepts at the start of each chapter display just how important these images of whiteness are to Pecola but I think that Morrison attempts to show how simply unnecessary they are. Through the use of metaphors, Morrison to describe the conditions under which African-Americans in general as well as Pecola in particular are forced to live. The first major metaphor is the one of the marigolds and dandilions. At the beginning of the novel Claudia says "there were no marigolds in the fall of 1941". She and her sister would plant marigold seeds with the belief that if they were to grow and survive so would Pecola's baby. The metaphor reveals itself throughout the book and Claudia eventually uses it to broaden the scope to African Americans as a whole. "I even think now that the land of the entire country was hostile to marigolds that year. Certain seeds it will not nurture, certain
Blue eyes, blonde hair, white skin.
This being what most African American girls desired in the 1940s. This was considered
“beautiful” to African American girls in the 1940s. In Toni Morrison’s first novel and national bestseller
The Bluest Eye, eleven year old Pecola Breedlove grows up as an abused and unloved daughter. One of
the first events that happen in the story is when Pecola begins to menstruate and is told that she can
now have babies and that she is starting to grow as…
By Jessica Mocci
From “The Bluest Eye” to “Sula” to “Song of Solomon” and “Tar Baby” Toni Morrison portrays her ways of being one of the world’s most renown American Author and female activist. Toni Morrison's novels reveal the feminist issues concerning black women, issues often forgotten in many feminist discussions in American literature today. In her novels, Morrison interrogates and deconstructs the long-held stereotypical images of black women and the world’s image of what being perfect…
blue eyes, and white skin was the envy of most young African American girls in the 1940's. In this modernist and coming of age tragic novel is called The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, Pecola Breedlove, an eleven-year-old black girl is a victim of racial self-loathing and also rape by her father which results in pregnancy. Described as submissive, ugly, and ignorant, she is labelled the outcast amongst the black community of Lorain, Ohio. Though Pecola does have some friends, Claudia and Frieda Macteer…
condition and the controlling forces of ingrained societal prejudices. Iago’s ability to manipulate Othello derives from society’s inherent notions of normality relating to race and gender. Society’s ability to control the protagonist of The Bluest Eye, Pecola, similarly originates from her sense of self worth and value, which have been diminished by the dominant cultural ideal of beauty.
The relationships which link an individual to their society often act to the detriment of their sense of self worth…
creating a dysfunction of sorts.” Debra T. Werrlein, further points out, “Toni Morrison challenges` America’s complacent belief in its benevolent self-image through representations of children who experience race, class and gender oppressions.”
Pecola is not the most beautiful girl you will meet, unfortunately, the entire family is not that pleasant to look upon. Her family is the definition and pure manifestation of dysfunction. Her brother Sammy believes he is ugly due to the darkness of his…
There are many things in today’s society that affect teenagers, love being one of them. Teenagers willingly follow the crowd of whatever is in style. Even if “being skinny” or “fair skin” is what is in. Those teenagers who do not fit that category develop a self-hatred towards themselves because the pressure to fit in kills them. Teenagers do not learn to first love themselves and others afterwards.
Love is a mixture of many emotions;…
Justin Shin Character List 5/16/14 Period 3
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
John Proctor - A local farmer who lives just outside town; Elizabeth Proctor’s husband. A stern, harsh-tongued man, John hates hypocrisy. Although he has a hidden sin—his affair with Abigail Williams—that proves his downfall. When the hysteria begins, he hesitates to expose Abigail as a fraud because he worries that his secret will be revealed and his good name ruined. He later dies after being executed…