A Hunger for Love and Respect in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

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The Bluest Eye (1970), Toni Morrison’s first novel, is written during her teaching at Howard University, focuses on the oppression of the Black female characters Pauline, Pecola, Claudia, and Frieda. The American concept of beauty becomes necessary for black African- American in order to mingle into the mainstream. Pecola suffers an inferiority complex since from her childhood because she is ugly and black and nobody loves her as Pecola comes from a poor family, cut off from the normal life of a community and faces final humiliation and betrayal from her own father. Cholly rapes Pecola. Pecola’s move to the company of the whores shows the signals of her utter sense of loneliness. Pecola Breedlove in the novel is oppressed not only due to racism but also due to classism and sexism. Ugliness, poverty and violence are the reasons of her humiliation. Sufferings are the friend of Pecola and her hunger for love and respect leads her to the world of fantasy. Key words: Oppression, inferiority, ugly,black, humiliation, betrayal, loneliness, racism, classism, sexism and fantasy. INTRODUCTION The Bluest Eye (1970), Toni Morrison’s first novel and is written during her teaching at Howard University. The main character, Pecola is inspired by a real life girl whom Morrison met when she was 11 years old. She and the little girl argued whether or not there is a God. Morrison thought so but the little girl disagreed. The main conflict in this novel is about Black women that become the central object of oppression as black women characters in the novel are described as the victim of different sex or gender and also the victim of class and race that are imposed on them. The Bluest Eye is linked to the Black Power movement of th... ... middle of paper ... ... 1947. Davis, Cynthia. “Self, Society and Myth in Toni Morrison’s Fiction,” Contemporary Literature, 23, 3 (1982). Gibson, Donald B. (1989), “Text and Counter text in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye”, Lit: Literature, Interpretation, Theory, Vol. 1 No. 1-2, pp. 19-32. Grewal, Gurleen (1998). Circles of sorrow, Lines of struggle: The novels of Toni Morrison, Boston, Louisiana State University press. Janeway, Elizabeth. Women’s Literature, in Hoffman(1979). Morrison, Toni The Bluest Eye (1970; London: Random House, Vintage: 1999) Morrison,Toni. “ Behind the Making of The Black Book,” Black World,23(1974). Strouse, Jean. “Toni Morrison: Black Magic.” Newsweek, 30 March (1981).
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