Beauty as Portrayed in Literature

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The novel, The Bluest Eye, written by Toni Morrison is about a year in the life of an eleven year old girl from Ohio, Pecola Breedlove, who undergoes feelings of rejection, inferiority and self-deprecation because of the racism in her society. Toni Morrison presents with this, the notion that America lives under a stereotype which suggests that to be accepted in a community, one has to be what society considers beautiful, in this case, white. It was written in 1970, therefore is considered a part of the contemporary literature which represents works written after World War II. In a nation with a population of about 308 million, diversity is no stranger to the United States of America, especially when 30 million of them are foreign born individuals. So it comes to no surprise that its literature would also be as varied and evolving, even if this was not always the case. The early 1900s contained limited social and economic advances, and as a result, these times heavily restricted the ways and types of ideas that would end up in print for the readers. What was then classified as Modern Literature was best described by T.S. Elliot as impersonal and objective. The type of writing that transcended the objective emotions of the writer, and intellectual in the way it made reference to other works of recent and past eras. But in the coming years of struggle facing events such as the World Wars and the one at Vietnam, readers yearned to be more involved in the immediate present. Mixed with the technological advances that followed, this postmodern direction in the literature of the 1950s onwards gave rise to new voices from numerous quarters, scenes and identities that challenged the old ideas and adapted their tradition to suit th... ... middle of paper ... ...e with blue eyes is very traumatizing to the people who do not live up to it, especially in a nation as diverse as America. Works Cited Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York: Plume, 1994 “Toni Morrison.” Black Writers, A Selection of Sketches from Contemporary Writers (1989): 41 “Toni Morrison.” Magill’s Survey of American Literature (1991): 1422-1428 “Toni Morrison.” Notable Black American Women (1992): 770 Petri Liukkonen. “Toni Morrison.” 2008. March 19, 2010. Wang, Charles L. “The Black Experience in America: Whiteness is Beauty, Blackness is Ugly…the Voice of a Promised Land….” 2009. February 21 2010

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