Toni Morisson’s The Bluest Eye is a novel about an African American girl living in the north during the Great Depression. The novel follows her life as she tries to come to terms with her own sense of self-worth in a society that values white beauty above all else. The Bluest Eye is a powerful and moving story that speaks to the human condition and the importance of self-acceptance.
The Bluest Eye is a coming-of-age novel by Toni Morisson that chronicles the Breedlove family’s life in Lorain, Ohio, in the late 1930s. Pauline, Cholly, Sammy, and Pecola are the members of this family. The book’s focus is on the girl, a eleven-year-old Black girl who battles self-loathing every day. Racism is confronted her every day, not just from white people but also from within her own race.
The novel The Bluest Eye gives an interesting perspective of how racism can affect someone on the inside, psychologically. Toni Morisson was born in Lorain, Ohio in 1931, which is also where she set The Bluest Eye. This novel was her first published book, and it established her as a significant voice in American literature. The Bluest Eye is now considered a modern classic.
In their eyes, she is far too dark, and the darkness of her skin projects that she is inferior, according to everyone else. She feels she can overcome her battle with self-hatred by getting blue eyes, but not just any blue. She wants the bluest eye there is.
The Bluest Eye is a novel that shows the effects of those beliefs on black individuals and their community. The story follows the life of Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl growing up in Lorain, Ohio, during the Great Depression. The novel focuses on Pecola’s downward spiral into madness as a result of her internalized self-hatred and low self-esteem.
The novel also explores the lives of other characters who are affected by racism, including Pecola’s parents, Cholly and Pauline Breedlove, and Claudia and Frieda MacTeer, two young African American girls who befriend Pecola. While The Bluest Eye is ultimately a tragedy, it is also a hopeful novel that highlights the importance of love, community, and hope in the face of racism and oppression.
The structure of The Bluest Eye is essential in demonstrating how widespread and hurtful social racism is. Narration in a novel comes from a variety of sources. Morrison provides the reader with insight into Claudia as an adult, some first person narrative from Pecola’s mother, and third-person narration by Morrison herself as an omniscient narrator.
The use of an adult Claudia relating the story also allows for more reflection and resentment to be directed towards the racist society that allowed such things to happen. The first person narration from Pecola’s mother is important in understanding how her mental state has deteriorated since her husband left her. The omniscient narrator allows for a fuller story to be told, one in which all character’s thoughts and feelings can be revealed.
Morrison’s choice to have the novel narrated by multiple people was intentional and effective in revealing the true nature of racism. Through the use of different narrators, she is able to show how racism affects people of all ages and levels of society. The use of an unreliable narrator would have lessened the impact of the novel, as the reader would not be able to trust the information they were being given.
The omniscient narrator allows for a fuller story to be told, one in which all character’s thoughts and feelings can be revealed. This is important in understanding the novel as a whole, as it allows for empathy to be felt for all of the characters, not just Pecola.
The protagonist of Morrison’s The Bluest Eye is Claudia MacTeer, a young black girl who has been raised in the southern United States. Her character embodies the conflict between being female and African American and also conveys how blacks have inherited white standards of beauty from previous generations.
“Claudia” is an anagram for “into view,” which emphasizes how she views Pecola through her youthfulness and innocence. In addition to narrative structure, Morrison uses structure and composition to show how deeply white notions of family and home have been ingrained into black culture. Instead of conventional chapters and sections, The Bluest Eye is divided into seasons: fall, winter, spring, and summer.
The book opens and closes with fall, representing both the beginning and the end of Pecola’s story. The first section is called “Autumn”, and the last section is called ” Autumn”. The four seasons not only reflect the physical changes that occur over time, but also the emotional journey that Pecola goes through.
The novel starts off in autumn, when everything is fresh and new, and ends in autumn, when everything has come to an end. The structure of The Bluest Eye, then, helps to reinforce the idea that white beauty standards are something that black people can never fully achieve or attain.
The “Dick and Jane” primer, which is the prototype of the white upper-middle class lifestyle, serves as a dividing line throughout the book. Furthermore, chapter divisions are excerpts from the “Dick and Jane” primper, which is a symbol of affluent suburban life. Each one relates to the section that follows in some manner. So Pecola’s mother is introduced with an excerpt from Dick and Jane’s mother (and so on). The typeset portions of “Dick and Jane” quotations that open each “chapter” are without spaces or punctuation marks.
The effect is to underscore the lack of emotional response, or even awareness, that the white middle class typically has towards people like Pecola. Morrison uses a number of flashbacks to provide insight into the characters’ pasts. The first occurs when Claudia is nine years old and living in Ohio.
She and Frieda are playing with their dolls near some railroad tracks when they see some men coming towards them. The girls run away, leaving their dolls behind. The men find the dolls and use them for target practice. This event traumatizes Claudia, who had been very attached to her dolls. The second flashback occurs when Pecola is raped by her father.