Anotated Bibliographies for The Bluest Eye

Anotated Bibliographies for The Bluest Eye

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Toni Morrison's novel "The Bluest Eye", is a very important novel in literature, because of the many boundaries that were crosses and the painful, serious topics that were brought into light, including racism, gender issues, Black female Subjectivity, and child abuse of many forms. This set of annotated bibliographies are scholarly works of literature that centre around the hot topic of racism in the novel, "The Bluest Eye", and the low self-esteem faced by young African American women, due to white culture. My research was guided by these ideas of racism and loss of self, suffered in the novel, by the main character Pecola Breedlove. This text generates many racial and social-cultural problems, dealing with the lost identity of a young African American women, due to her obsession with the white way of life, and her wish to have blue eyes, leading to her complete transgression into insanity.
For my research, there was no specific parameter set on the range of dates in my research. The researched sources used in this set of bibliographies date between 1987 to 2003. These annotations will be found most useful by high school and post-secondary undergraduate students who are researching similar topics to the ones outlined in my study. The resources used are very intellectual, but not overly complicated or hard to understand. There were few limitations set towards the type of resources used, although Internet sources were avoided for the most part. Most of the resources used in this set of annotated bibliographies are articles, essays, and chapters from book-length studies, found mostly at the Queen Elizabeth II library. Trends that can be noticed in these entries are the main focal point, which the authors all seemed to cover, that is racism and the social-cultural problems created for young African American women. Many of the authors seemed to blame white culture, or the colourist culture for the problem of lost identity in black girls. They seemed to take the same direction in their articles, but many taking different routes in explaining and proving their point. These ideas seemed to be arranged by the stating that Pecola Breedlove is a lost little black girl, who because of her idea that being white would solve all her family and life problems, looses her true self. The authors would then blame the white culture for this deficiency in the young mind of an African American girl.

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The points of language and gender discrimination, aesthetics, and black female subjectivity were also mentioned quite often in these entries. Author Biographies were not included in this research, because the focus would have switched from Pecola Breedlove in the Bluest Eye to Toni Morrison. Although the book is a chilling representation of Toni Morrioson's life, it felt necessary to focus on the topics inside the book, and not on the author's life. These entries contain valuable information on the topics researches in the novel "the Bluest Eye", and should be found very useful for researching topics that are similar.

Baillie, Justine. "Constructing Ideologies: Deconstructing Racism in African-American Fiction." Woman (Oxford, England) v. 14 no.1 (spring 2003) 20-37

Baillie's article is concerned with how African American fiction tries to define an artistic opposition to racism in scientific, educational and cultural ways. It examines Toni Morrison's novel as fiction representing the racial theories and ideas of beauty and popular American culture in the 1930's. Using figures like Shirley Temple, The author claims Morrison shows how African American people internalized cinematic icons and images of beauty, that lead to a psychosis that leaves identity fractured and the racial self all but erased. The author discusses the significance of the novel as a text of dialogue, which depicts the social and political time in which the fiction was written. She argues that Morrison's own expression of a black identity contains the nationalism of Black Power, and instead finds its focus in the political and cultural ideas through the expression of African-American aesthetics.

Bishop, John. "Morrison's The Bluest Eye." Explicator V.51. (Summer 2003) 252-258

An article that places most of its attention towards the comparison of Pecola to the white girl in the movie, by the character Maureen Peal. He argues that the novel was released seven years after the movie, so the 11-12 year old girl Pecola couldn't have been named after the character in the film. He talks about how Maureen mistaking Pecola's name to be Pecola, the girl in the movie, just reinforces that Pecola is nothing like the beautiful white girl in the movie. The author feels that this is important because the misnaming by Morrison signifies that Pecola will be the scapegoat for the entire community and all it's problems. The author concludes his essay by mentioning the possible duel meanings in the title of the novel.

Cheng, Anne Anlin. "Wounded Beauty: An Explanatory Essay on Race, Feminism, and the Aesthetics Question." Tulsa Studies in Woman's Literature. V.19 no 2. (Fall 2000.) 191-217

A look at the problems of racism and beauty in feminist studies. The writer discusses the intersection between race and gender, and observes that beauty presents a problem for the woman of colour. She finds herself contending between feminist views of beauty and a racial denial of black beauty. She uses She uses Pecola, From Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" To fund the argument of what it means for an African American woman to be beautiful

Gillian, Jennifer. "Focusing on the Wrong Front: Historical Displacement, The Maginot Line, and The Bluest Eye." African American Review. 36, (2002)

The author uses the issues of race, gender and history in this article. Part of the article is focused on the Maginot Line, and the historical undertones that surround these characters. She mentions how the women in The Bluest Eye, blur the line between reputable and disreputable. This article is very informative towards readers who are interested in the racial and historical aspects of "The Bluest Eye", by Toni Morrison.

Khayati, Abdellatif. "Representation, race and the language of the ineffable in Toni Morrison's Narrative." African American Review, V.33 no.2 (summer 19999) 313-324

The author of this essay examines Toni Morrison's novel and argues that she focuses more on the diversity among black Americans, rather then the similarities concerning the historical experiences of black Americans. He states that she is concerned with the impact of masculinity on African American authors, and the inability for them to confront memories thought to be shameful. He comments on the challenges posed by Morrison to use the historical term ‘black' merely as a way of defining white social identity. The author talks about how she switches perspective from a simple twofold point of view, to a more complicated perspective that helps to identify the racial identity, without making it superior.

Kuenz, Jane. "The Bluest Eye: Notes on History, Community and Black Female Subjectivity. African American Review V. 27 (Fall 1993) 421-431

An Article describing female subjectivity and how the commodity culture has represented the black women in Toni Morrison's novel. In this article, the author's main focal point is to show how Toni Morrison uses specific aspects of black American history, particularly that of women, Who's positive image has been torn down by the overriding white culture. The author claims Toni Morrison achieves this task by shifting the novels point of view and perspective. Doing this also enables her to represent black female subjectivity as a reality. The author also explains how popular forms of culture displayed by white people create the disallowance of black culture. She claims the African Americans in this novel who wanted to become part of the mass culture must abdicate themselves or give up their black ethnicity.

McKittrick, Katherine. "Black and Cause I'm Blue: Transverse Racial Geographies in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye." Gender Place & Culture: A Journal Of Feminist Geography (June 2000)

A Scholarly essay describing how the characters in Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" are
Victimized examples of racism, ghettoism and discrimination. The author of this essay uses the setting of the novel to explain how this was a time of discrimination, and identifies the problems with the people in Lorain, Ohio. The author claims that theoretical concepts and geographical frameworks are at fault for these problems. Race, gender and class are brought to the table, and discussed in detail on how this affects the various characters, not only in their minds, but their bodies and spaces as well. Each of the characters in this novel is affected differently by racism, but how all the characters had bodies, mind, place and space intertwined to do so, was the last point made in this article.

Powell, Timothy B. "Toni Morrison: The Black Figure on the White Page." Black American Literature Forum. V.24 (winter 1990) 747-760
An essay written to describe the challenges to depict a black self on a white page. The author refers to Morrison's quest to overcome white logos and discover the powers, which lie hidden in the black logo. He describes this quest as Morrison rising out of the black whole, to create a wholly
black text. He argues that the Dick and Jane white text is highly significant in showing how white logos are the textile for American life, and to show the difference between this ideal, and the actual reality of Pecola's life He makes the point that Morrison's novel is meant to be a novel of failure, and a portrait which depicts how a young black woman fails to discover her true self because she allows her values to be dictated by white mythology, which leaves her alienated from any true identity. He concludes by making the argument that The Bluest Eye can be seen as a direct confrontation of the white logos with the black, which he claims to be a necessary step towards clearing the way for wholly black text to appear, against the white text.

Rosenberg, Ruth. "Seeds in hard ground: Black girlhood in The Bluest Eye." Black American Literature Forum. V. 21. (Winter 1987) 435-45

An essay that talks about how a little black girls hate for herself is taught to her by the colourist culture. The author argues that Pecola gives into the white culture, embracing it, which causes her to loose all control of her true self and identity. She is no longer in control of her own destiny, unlike Claudia, another central character in the novel, who rejects the white culture, and maintains a true identity. She also makes the point that Pecola's mother, Pauline, also gave into the white culture, causing her to have low self-esteem, which she passed down to her child. She also makes the point that expresses how black girls did not exist as far as the publishers of school anthologies were concerned. It was strictly a white world in the educational system for the most part.

Yancy, George. "The Black Self within a semiotic space of whiteness: Reflections on the racial deformation of Pecola Breedlove in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye."CLA Journal V.43 no.3 (March 2000) 299-319

This article examines how white cultural power functions in Pecola Breedlove's life, and the semiotic space of whiteness when it comes to the African American culture. The writer discusses Morrison's theories about the nature of Pecola's psychologically broken identity, by creating a framework for coming to terms with it. He mentions that Pecola's body and mind deformation are bluntly depicted, but the novel continues to penetrate the critical gaze that condemns her to the life of wishing she could becomes something she is not. He ends the essay buy discussing the demand Morrison has placed on her readers of revealing Pecola's ugliness. He concludes the critical gaze of the white culture is what causes the problems Pecola faces of wanting to be white.
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