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Essay on Sexual Content in the Bluest Eye

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The novel The Bluest Eye written by Toni Morrison is subjected on a young girl, Pecola Breedlove and her experiences growing up in a poor black family. The life depicted is one of poverty, ridicule, and dissatisfaction of self. Pecola feels ugly because of her social status as a poor young black girl and longs to have blue eyes, the pinnacle of beauty and worth. Throughout the book, Morrison touches on controversial subjects, such as the depicting of Pecola's father raping her, Mrs. Breedlove's sexual feelings toward her husband, and Pecola's menstruation. The book's content is controversial on many levels and it has bred conflict among its readers.

Conflict on the local level, in the Kern High School District, has arisen in the past year dealing with The Bluest Eye's explicit content. Sue Porter, mother of an East Bakersfield High School Student objected to having her 11th grade daughter read the book in her honors English class. She believed the book was "pornographic" and inappropriate for children. She pushed to have the book banned from the California Department of Education's list of recommended reading. This started a ripple effect in the community.

In the last Kern High School District Board of Trustees election, two candidates ran for office solely on the basis of their opposition to The Bluest Eye and their desires to ban the book from High School Recommended Reading list. The main proponent Chad Vegas, according to his presentation given on November 1, 2004, feels the way to solve the controversy over such novels being read that contain sexual content is to remove such novels from the State of California Recommended Reading List. (Vegas) His campaign was fueled by his strong moral convictions. Accord...


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...ve way from being exposed to the sexual content. Some feel that they will feel that such things described in the novel are permissible actions since teachers cannot cast a moral judgment on them. In agreeing with Chad Vegas, the Kern High School District Trustees must bring principles, morals and convictions to the classroom and to students (Hunn A1).

Works Cited

California Department of Education, Kern High School District Board of Trustees. Supplemental Literature Selection Form. Bakersfield: Kern High School District, 2004.

Hunn, David. "KHSD Hopefuls Call Race Crusade." The Bakersfield Californian. 19 Sept 2004. A1

Hunn, David. "Pastor Upsets Status Quo for KHSD." The Bakersfield Californian. 3 Nov 2004. A1

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York, Penguin Books, 1970.

Vegas, Chad. Presentation; Bakersfield College: Bakersfield. 1 Nov 2004.



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