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The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Essay

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The Bluest Eye


There are many themes that seem to run throughout this story. Each theme and conflict seems to always involve the character of Pecola Breedlove. There is the theme of finding an identity. There is also the theme of Pecola as a victim. Of all the characters in the story we can definitely sympathize with Pecola because of the many harsh circumstances she has had to go through in her lifetime. Perhaps her rape was the most tragic and dramatic experience Pecola had experiences, but nonetheless she continued her life. She eliminates her sense of ugliness, which lingers in the beginning of the story, and when she sees that she has blue eyes now she changes her perspective on life. She believes that these eyes have been given to her magically and in some respects her eyes begin to corrupt her as an individual. The story begins to take a turn and the reader realizes that the main character has begun to entirely rely on self-image in order to build confidence. This leads to the question of how significant are the "Blue eyes" to society and how does the theme of beauty and ugliness linger throughout the story. With this in mind, how does this make Pecola a victim of society and a victim in herself?

If any person can be credited for creating the obsession of beauty that Pecola builds it is Pauline (Pecola’s mother). Pecola experiences many insecurities and it can definitely be said that many of these are because of the way that Pauline acts in society and around Pecola. It was stated in the story that Pauline would always go to the movies and rate the characters on their beauty. This is one example that shows the obsession that Pauline has with beauty and looks. This rubbed off on to her daughter and that is where Pecola received her lack of self-esteem. It is clear that Pecola idolizes the ideals of being beautiful. It is interesting that Pecola is not the person telling the story in this book, and it is Claudia instead. It seems that the author wants the reader to build an immense amount of sympathy for Pecola because it would just be less effective if Pecola was telling the story. If it Pecola that was narrating in many parts then it would be more difficult to see her as a "total victim".

The structure and way this book is organized is a good clue of how Morrison wants us to see Pecola’s and all black peoples situations. Instead of ord...


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...could work miracles." This comes from the character Soaphead who finally realizes what it must be like to be an African American in a racist society. If only Pecola could literally see life through the eyes of someone who is not oppressed by their society. Pecola only wants to live up to the image of a blue-eyed white person. This is important, and it shows that the author is not only speaking to the black person about their sorrows, but also to the white person which shows how a racist social system can wear down an innocent mind. Basically being white is being successful and Pecola has no hope in this society. It is not solely because of racism that Pecola is not accepted. Not only does she have to deal with the hatred she receives from the white person, but also she is an outcast in the black infrastructure. This proves that Pecola is a "total victim" because she has no way out and the only way she can be normal is to try to change who she is in order to be someone she is not. Basically Pecola is totally entrapped by everything, her past (rape etc..), her present (society both black and white) and her future (she has very little hope at being an contributing member of society).


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