Beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

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Throughout all of history there has been an ideal beauty that most have tried to obtain. But what if that beauty was impossible to grasp because something was holding one back. There was nothing one could do to be ‘beautiful’. Growing up and being convinced that one was ugly, useless, and dirty. For Pecola Breedlove, this state of longing was reality. Blue eyes, blonde hair, and pale white skin was the definition of beauty. Pecola was a black girl with the dream to be beautiful. Toni Morrison takes the reader into the life of a young girl through Morrison’s exceptional novel, The Bluest Eye. The novel displays the battles that Pecola struggles with each and every day. Morrison takes the reader through the themes of whiteness and beauty, racism and stereotypes, and perception, through the use of symbolism, narrative voice, characterization and diction. Morrison is able to elicit the powerful story of a girl struggling to succeed against the stereotypes and racism she is up against.

In The Bluest Eye, Morrison makes it unmistakably clear that all the black children worship ‘whiteness’. The black characters in the novel have been taught from birth to believe that whiteness is the epitome of beauty. One black character named Claudia remains free from the idealization of whiteness. Morrison hints in the book that once Claudia reaches adolescence, she too will learn to believe she is ugly, as if self-hating was a sign of maturing and growing up. When she was young, Claudia did not understand why being white was so magnificent. In the following quotation Claudia puts into perspective what everyone is thinking.
“Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs – all the world had agreed that a blue-eyed, yellow-haired, p...

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...d person narrative to effectively depict Geraldine’s entire first impressions and judgments of Pecola. Geraldine’s snap reaction to Pecola is solely based on her appearance without even considering her situation. In this sad scene, the third person omniscient narrative conveys Morrison’s message of the severe stereotypes and the toxic nature of appearance-based judgment.
Morrison’s astounding use of phrasing and vocabulary constantly adds strength and meaning to the harmful themes conveyed, and adds force and fullness to every statement. Her descriptions are vivid and surround each utterance with power. When Claudia, Pecola, Frieda, and Maureen, the new white girl in their school, begin walking home, a band of boys comes to join them. Morrison uses lucid description to explain the emotions building up in the young boys as they are launch their hatred onto Pecola.