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The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Essay

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Social class is a major theme in the book The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Toni Morrison is saying that there are dysfunctional families in every social class, though people only think of it in the lower class. Toni Morrison was also stating that people also use social class to separate themselves from others and apart from race; social class is one thing Pauline and Geraldine admire.Claudia, Pecola, and Frieda are affected by not only their own social status, but others social status too - for example Geraldine and Maureen Peal. Characters in the book use their social class as another reason for being ugly. Readers are reminded of the theme every time a new character enters into the book.
Social Class starts off in the book when Claudia describes her house and current living situation. “Our house is old, cold, and green. At night a kerosene lamp lights one large room. The others are braced in darkness, peopled by roaches and mice.”(10). Another example of Claudia’s lower status is when her mother gets upset when Pecola drinks all the milk. Claudia’s family can not afford to go through milk like that without losing a lot of money. Claudia’s mother says “Time for me to get out of the giving line and get in the getting line.”(24).Social class is also stated in the book early when Claudia talks about being “put out” and being “put outdoors”. This shows the difference between poverty and homelessness.“There is a difference between being put out and being put outdoors. If you are put out, you go somewhere else; if you are outdoors, there is no place to go. The distinction was subtle but final....Knowing that there was such a thing as outdoors bred in us a hunger for property, for ownership” page 17 (Toni Morrison).Pecola was homeless ...


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...omfort and care. The quality of her clothes threatened to derange Frieda and me.” page 63 (Toni Morrison). These sentences say a lot about what and how people perceive others. People are not only judging others by their race in this book but also social class.This connects to Geraldine, who believes a person’s skin tone defines then.Geraldine uses social class to separate black from colored. She calls people “colored” if they aren’t poor and are neat, quiet, sheltered and well-dressed.“Niggers were dirty and loud” page 87 (Toni Morrison).
The theme of social class in The Bluest Eye can be seen throughout the whole book. Most of the examples of social class are hidden in the theme of race. Toni Morrison did not only write a book about a corrupt and judgmental neighborhood but also wrote about the view of people’s life with and without money and how or if it differs.



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