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Essay on Personal Response to The Bluest Eye

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Personal Response to The Bluest Eye


Dear God:

      Do you know what she came for? Blue eyes. New, blue eyes, She said. Like she was buying shoes. "I'd like a pair of new blue eyes." Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

Pecola thought that if she had blue eyes she would become beautiful and her parents would stop fighting. She was just one of the many who believed that having blue eyes would make her and everything around her beautiful, only to end up with self-hatred and self-mutilation. Today the more sophisticated and affluent among us use plastic surgery to fix thick lips and wide noses. No longer do we have to suffer with Negroid crinkles, contours and curves. But oh, those tell-tale eyes.

      It would have been easy for me to share the same sentiments as Pecola. The ideal girl had always been shown in my nursery books as having blond hair and blue eyes. Furthermore, the advertisements shown on television, in magazines and at the movies had all displayed the same ideal beauty as my nursery books did. However, the difference between Pecola and me was we had different mothers.

      Most important, children learn behaviors from their parents, and most children identify with the parent of the same sex and internalize his or her behavioral pattern. Pecola's mother, Pauline, was consumed with the unhealthy ideals of the society and so she was unable to be a proper role model to her daughter. Instead, she forced her fears on her daughter. My mother, on the other hand, gave to me a strong foundation on which to build from. She respected and valued herself, and as a result, I was able to develop a strong sense of self. However, like Pauline my mother was also taken in by society's views. Soc...


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...he situation. Within her home she wanted power and she would take it no matter whom she had to take it from. I can remember being mad with mama for starting an argument over simple things such as papa forgetting to take the garbage out. Over the years, my father learned to "put up"with my mother's outbursts, for unlike Cholly, my father loved his wife. In fact, I honestly think my father knew all along what his wife craved. It was only after reading certain sections of The Bluest Eye that I was able to comprehend and see that my mother's frustration with me was not because I spoke too much but because she had no say in the society in which she lived. In addition, I think she was preparing me for a society in which women were to be seen and not heard.

Works Consulted:

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Afterward by Toni Morrison. New York: Penguin, 1994.


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