One day, the girls come home and when they walk in Mr. He flatters them by telling them they look just like Greta Garbo and Ginger Rogers, two white American female actresses. They, and other actresses like them, were so idealized by the media that it forced young American girls, both white and black, to question their own beauty if it differed from the standard of blond hair and blue eyes.
The following entry presents criticism on Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye through For further information on her life and complete works, see CLC, Volumes 4, 10, 22, 87, and Morrison's first novel, The Bluest Eye, examines the tragic effects of imposing white, middle-class American ideals of beauty on the developing female identity of a young African American girl during the early s.
Inspired by a conversation Morrison once had with an elementary school classmate who wished for blue eyes, the novel poignantly shows the psychological devastation of a young black girl, Pecola Breedlove, who searches for love and acceptance in a world that denies and devalues people of her own race.
As her mental state slowly unravels, Pecola hopelessly longs to possess the conventional American standards of feminine beauty—namely, The buest eye essay skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes—as presented to her by the popular icons and traditions of white culture. Written as a fragmented narrative from multiple perspectives and with significant typographical deviations, The Bluest Eye juxtaposes passages from the Dick-and-Jane grammar school primer with memories and stories of Pecola's life alternately told in retrospect by one of Pecola's now-grown childhood friends and by an omniscient narrator.
Published in the midst of the Black Arts movement that flourished during the late s and early s, The Bluest Eye has attracted considerable attention from literary critics—though not to the same degree as Morrison's later works.
With its sensitive portrait of African American female identity and its astute critique of the internalized racism bred by American cultural definitions of beauty, The Bluest Eye has been widely seen as a literary watershed, inspiring a proliferation of literature written by African American women about their identity and experience as women of color.
Plot and Major Characters Ignoring strict narrative chronology, The Bluest Eye opens with three excerpts from the common s American elementary school primer that features the All-American, white family of Mother, Father, Dick, and Jane.
The first excerpt is a faithful reproduction, the second lacks all capitalization and punctuation marks, and the third dissolves into linguistic chaos by abandoning its spacing and alignment.
This section is interrupted by an italicized fragment representing the memories of Claudia MacTeer, the principal narrator of The Bluest Eye. As an adult, Claudia recalls incidents from late when she was nine years old living in Lorain, Ohio, with her poor but loving parents and her ten-year-old sister, Frieda.
Claudia's friend, Pecola Breedlove, is an emotionally impaired African American girl who comes from a broken home. The rest of The Bluest Eye divides into four separate time sequences, each named for a season of the year and each narrated by Claudia.
Interspersed throughout the text are fragments in the voice of an omniscient narrator that discuss Pecola's obsessive desire for blue eyes and her parents, Pauline and Cholly; each fragment is introduced with different lines from the Dick-and-Jane primer. At the same time, Pecola comes to live with the MacTeer family after Cholly burns down his family's house.
Recounting their typical girlhood adventures, Claudia particularly remembers the onset of Pecola's first menses. The omniscient narrator intermittently interrupts with descriptions of the Breedlove's household, noting how the parents are unable to hide the violence of their relationship in the presence of Pecola and her brother Sammy.
In the midst of the hostilities, Pecola constantly prays for blue eyes, believing that if she only had blue eyes, life would be better.
MacTeer, and a visit to Pecola's apartment. The omniscient narrator's descriptions of Pauline and Cholly's history predominate the rest of this section. The narrator relates events from Pauline's early life, her marriage, and how she became a maid for an affluent, white family.
The narrator next recounts Cholly's traumatic childhood and adolescence. Abandoned almost at birth, he is rescued by his beloved Aunt Jimmy, who later dies when he is sixteen.
After her burial, Cholly is humiliated by two white hunters who interrupt his first sexual encounter with a girl named Darlene.
He flees to Macon, Georgia, in search of his father who is miserably mean and wants nothing to do with his son. Crushed by this encounter, Cholly eventually meets and marries Pauline and fathers her children.
Years later, in Lorain, a drunken Cholly staggers into his kitchen, and overcome with lust, brutally rapes and impregnates Pecola. In the last section of The Bluest Eye Claudia remembers meeting Pecola after Cholly's baby is delivered stillborn and accounts for the whereabouts of Sammy, Cholly, and Pauline.
Major Themes In The Bluest Eye, the opening excerpt from the Dick-and-Jane primer juxtaposed with the experiences of African American characters immediately sets the tone for Morrison's examination of a young black girl's growing self-hatred: American society tells Pecola happy, white, middle-class families are better than hopeless, black, working-class families.
Victimized in different degrees by media messages—from movies and books to advertising and merchandise—that degrade their appearance, nearly every black character in the novel—both male and female—internalizes a desire for the white cultural standard of beauty.
This desire is especially strong in Pecola, who believes that blue eyes will make her beautiful and lovable. At the same time, every African American character hates in various degrees anything associated with their own race, blindly accepting the media-sponsored belief that they are ugly and unlovable, particularly in the appalling absence of black cultural standards of beauty.
In a sense, Pecola becomes the African American community's scapegoat for its own fears and feelings of unworthiness. Unlike Claudia, who possesses the love of her family, Pecola has learned from her appearance-conscious parents to devalue herself.In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, both racism and beauty are portrayed in a number of ways.
This book illustrates many of the racial concerns which were. Sep 05, · 1. How does nature function in the novel? Do you consider it a benevolent presence against which the events of the novel are contrasted, or a potentially malevolent force?
Is Morrison’s use of natural imagery hopeful or ironic? 2. Which is a greater threat to the children in The Bluest Eye: racism.
(Results Page 2) View and download the bluest eye essays examples. Also discover topics, titles, outlines, thesis statements, and conclusions for your the bluest eye essay. The Bluest Eye- Essay #1 The concept of beauty is portrayed throughout Morrison’s The Bluest Eye by analyzing the novella’s literary elements such as setting, character, and theme.
- Comparison Essay of Memoirs of a Geisha and the Bluest Eye Memoirs of a Geisha by Aurthor Golden and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison are two thought provoking books with a unique style of writing. Memoirs of a Geisha has a beautiful poetic grammar which captures readers imagination and . In “The Bluest Eye”, author Toni Morrison builds a story around the concept of racial self-hatred and how it comes to exist in the mind of a young child. “The Bluest Eye” deals directly with the individual psychology of the main character, Pecola Breedlove. The Bluest Eye- Essay #1 The concept of beauty is portrayed throughout Morrison’s The Bluest Eye by analyzing the novella’s literary elements such as setting, character, and theme. Throughout the novella there’s a relation between beauty and the setting, character, and theme that relates to culture and beauty.
Throughout the novella there’s a relation between beauty and the setting, character, and theme that relates to culture and beauty. (Results Page 2) View and download the bluest eye essays examples.
Also discover topics, titles, outlines, thesis statements, and conclusions for your the bluest eye essay. The Bluest Eye is the story of Pecola Breedlove. She is eleven years old growing up in Lorain, Ohio during the ’s. She is eleven years old growing up in /5(1).