The novel, The Bluest Eye, takes place in Lorain, Ohio after The Great Depression. Written from multiple points of view, the novel begins with Claudia MacTeer. Claudia is a young girl who lives with both parents and has an older sister. From the onset, it is clear that Claudia, her family, and friends are different - different because they are black. Claudia feels powerless because of her skin color and also because she is a child in a household where children are not acknowledged by the adults.
As the novel continues, Claudia goes on to describe the lives and hardships faced by those in her and her sister’s life; the primary person of focus is Pecola Breedlove. Pecola is a fragile young girl who is fascinated with love. She longs to know what love is and how it feels to be loved. Since the emotion was not displayed in her household, it is unknown to her. Pecola and her family are known in the community as “ugly” people; therefore, she assumes will never experience love since she regarded as ugly. Pecola’s father, Cholly Breedlove, is an alcoholic who does not treat Pecola’s mother, Mrs. Breedlove, with respect, and the two are frequently yelling and fighting with one another.
Pecola’s father, Cholly, faced his own battles growing up including abandonment of his mother, the death of his loving aunt at a young age, plus a traumatic first-time sexual experience; Cholly’s first sexual experience was a defining moment in his life. When Cholly and a young lady were engaging in sexual intercourse, two white men stumbled upon them and forced him to continue as they hollered at the two. These two men took something that was supposed to meaningful away from him. From that moment, Cholly had a new perspective on l...
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... to be of a lower socioeconomic status as a direct result of their natural born skin color. Surprisingly, this mother actually displays prejudice against her own race. Sadly, even today, people demand to be like others, that in turn they act out against similar people.
According to Ferguson (2013) “Race has been exposed as a social creation a fiction that divides and categorizes individuals by phenotypic markers such as skin color that supposedly signify underlying differences” (p. 127). Clearly Morrison depicts examples in The Bluest Eye where races behave prejudicially among each other due to specific characteristic differences. Characteristics which they feel are defined within their own race and are created by social factors of status. The issue of prejudice is not only an issue that occurs from one race to another, but often occurs within one’s own race.
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