The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison Essay

The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison Essay

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The Bluest Eye, written by Toni Morrison, is a novel that encompasses the themes of youth, gender, and race. At the time the novel was written, The African American Civil Rights Movement had recently. In the story, Morrison utilizes a story in first person to convey her viewpoints about racial inequality. Authors such as Anais Nin, Virginia Woolf, and Adrienne Rich composed poems and essays that discuss concepts present in The Bluest Eye. Morrison weaves passages of children’s stories to illustrate the chaos amongst the characters in her novel. Morrison does not use children’s books to serve as the basis of her points—she uses them to strengthen her ideas. In The Bluest Eye, Morrison implies that American culture is reason for the discrimination that occurs amongst the black community in the United States.
In the first chapter of The Bluest Eye, titled “Autumn,” Morrison presents the concept of child powerlessness. The protagonist, Claudia, is an African American child who faces various forms of powerlessness, which symbolizes the challenges she will face as a black female adult. She is raised in a time where children are suppressed and believes that adults must be monitored. Claudia says: “We do not hear their words, but with grown-ups we listen to and watch out for their voices” (Morrison 14). Raised in a time where children are suppressed, Claudia believes that adults must be carefully monitored due to their heinous actions. This idea is represented in Stevie Smith’s poem, as he alludes to the notion that a man’s voice was misinterpreted and was “not waving, but drowning” (Smith 4). In this poem, Smith alludes to the fact that when someone’s voice is not heard, their rights are “drowned” and forfeited. Children did not “initia...


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...uest Eye, the reader discovers three main concepts throughout the story, depicting youth, gender, and race. Toni Morrison heavily discusses the subject of racial discrimination. Pecola’s wish for blue eyes gives the notion that African Americans wanted to alter themselves in order to conform with society. However, she does converse on other issues, such as the suppression of children in the 1970s. Utilizing passages from other sources is a unique and creative way to analyze and respond to the text. Sometimes an understanding of related texts, can help one better comprehend the overall theme of a novel. The Bluest Eye expresses the traditionally silenced female point of view and uses imagery as a means of depicting Morrison’s beliefs. The novel does an honest representation of American girlhood, descriptions of racism, and the importance of stories to one’s identity.

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