Essay about The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Words: 756
Pages: 4

In Toni Morrison’s novel, ‘The Bluest Eye’, childhood is one of the main factors that shapes the overall meaning of the work. Children, at times, are graced by innocence and wonder but they do not always understand the way the world works and the negative affects society has on them as a whole. Morrison uses the perspectives of children to show the contrast of adolescent views and adult views of the world and as one grows older the negative views they gain as children, shape their overall negative perceptions on themselves and the world. Pecola Breedlove and Claudia MacTeer show several contrasts in their upbringings but the judgmental views of society affect them in the same negative way.
Pecola Breedlove is a fragile and delicate child but as the novel progresses, her character seems to deteriorate even further as a result of her harsh at­home life and the dark views of society that surround her. It is from a young age that society teaches
Pecola that “The Bluest Eyes” are the most superior because dark features are signs of ugliness and degradation. Because Pecola has dark skin and dark eyes, she is subject to the classic racist views of society. It is here, as an adolescent, that Pecola’s overall self­esteem begins to deteriorate and her self­hatred begins to grow. Pecola wishes for the bluest eyes but when this does not come true, she is left yearning for the impossible. Pecola falls into a fantasy like state by believing she may one day gain blue eyes. This immature mindset is used to distort the harsh realities of her life. Pecola is brought up in a time where young, white girls like Shirley Temple are idolized for having light skin and blue eyes so by having dark features one is considered “ugly”. Pecola’s desperation to obtain the white beauty features becomes so strong that she begins to

eat Mary Jane candies believing that they will turn her into the perfect little white child.
Pecola’s fantasy like state is a result of her unloving at home life. Being raised by two parents who show little or no affection towards one another or their children, along with being tormented by societies hateful views, has a great affect on a child’s self­esteem, and overall mindset. All Pecola wants is to be accepted and loved but because she is never shown this as a child, those same desires continue to destroy her even as an adult. She never believes she has any self­ worth and it is because of the way she was raised by her parents and society.
Like Pecola Breedlove, Claudia Macteer is another child faced with the racist beauty standards of society but she, unlike Pecola has a loving family. Where as
Pecola is weak, Claudia is a fighter. She does not agree with the racist beauty standards of society and often challenges them. When Claudia recieves a white baby doll as a gift, she destroys it. Claudia is one…