Society 's Effects On African Americans

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Claudia Hall Mrs. D’Aleo BRAM 29 April 2016 Society’s Effects on African American Females in The Bluest Eye The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is a tragic coming-of-age story that switches between the first person point of view of character Claudia MacTeer and an omniscient third person narrator. The novel takes place in Lorain, Ohio 1941, a time when racism was still extremely prevalent, especially in the southern United States. African American women often faced many setbacks, simply because of their race and gender. Toni Morrison’s background helped to lay the foundation for her novel The Bluest Eye; racism, self-hatred, women’s roles, and rape culture are all societally imposed elements that follow Pecola Breedlove, Morrison’s main character, through her adolescent life. Toni Morrison’s background helped to shape the novel, a story filled with racism and sexism. Being both African American and female she is not only able to relate to her characters but give genuine substance to the plot. Having gone through similar situations “… Morrison’s novels reflect her desire to draw on the people, places, language, values, cultural traditions, and politics that have shaped her own life…” (Mobley 510). Morrison grew up in a rather ethnically and culturally diverse community, similar to Pecola Breedlove in The Bluest Eye. She acquired the knowledge from her parents that racial politics were a serious truth that African Americans Hall 2 had to grapple with. Her novels reflect both the lack of hope that racism creates as well as the positivity that has encouraged the African American people to succeed despite the racist ideology that slowly tears them down. Morrison’s father showed “blatant hostility towards white people” throu... ... middle of paper ... ... steps across commonly accepted borders of reason and speech to enter her own personal world of silence and madness” (Miner 11). By quieting Pecola Mrs. Breedlove essentially causes her to go mad. When the townspeople found out that Pecola was pregnant they were “disgusted, amused, shocked, outraged, or even excited by the story.” (Morrison 190). However, nobody conveyed even the slightest bit of remorse. Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye demonstrates the struggles of a young African American girl. Pecola Breedlove, as well as the other female characters experience many hardships such as racism, self-hatred, women’s roles, and rape culture that ultimately shape their personality and effect who they are. Having experienced similar situations, Morrison was able to provide depth and emotion to the storyline rather than recite facts learned based off of research.
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