The Bluest Eye

1144 Words5 Pages
The Bluest Eye is a brilliantly written novel revealing the fictional trauma of an eleven-year-old black girl named Pecola Breedlove. This story takes place in the town of Lorain, Ohio during the 1940’s. It is told from the perspective of a young girl named Claudia MacTeer. She and her sister, Frieda, become witness to the terrible plights Pecola is unintentionally put through. Pecola chooses to hide from her disabling life behind her clouded dream of possessing the ever so cherished “bluest of eyes”. The Breedlove’s constant bickering and ever growing poverty contributes to the emotional downfall of this little girl. Pecola’s misery is obtained through the touch of her father’s hand and the voice of her community’s struggle with racial separation, anger, and ignorance. Her innocence is harshly ripped from her grasp as her father rapes her limp existence. The community’s anger with it’s own insecurities is taken out on this poor, ugly, black, non-ideal, young girl. She shields herself from this sorrow behind her obsessive plea for blue eyes. But her eyes do not replace the pain of carrying her fleeing father’s baby. Nor do they protect her from the shady eyes of her neighbors. Though this book discuses negative and disturbing situations, it teaches a very positive lesson. The theme of The Bluest Eye is that of depending on outside influences to become aware of one’s own beauty and to fabricate one’s own self image can be extremely damaging. I feel that Toni Morrison showed this through each of her characters especially the obvious, Pecola Breedlove. One incident, for example, is when Claudia, Frieda, Pecola, and Maureen Peal, a well-loved “beauty” of Lorain, are walking home from school. As the girls saunter down the street, they begin to bicker. The conversation ends with Maureen stomping away and establishing the fact that she is indeed “cute”. Claudia then thinks to herself, “If she was cute--and if anything could be believed, she was--then we were not. And what did that mean? We were lesser. Nicer, brighter, but still lesser. Dolls we could destroy, but we could not destroy the honey voices of parents and aunts, the obedience in the eyes of our peers, the slippery light in the eyes of our teachers when they encouraged the Maureen Peals of the world. What was the secret? What did we lack? Why was it important? And so what?. . . And all the time we knew that Maureen Peal was not the Enemy and not worthy of such intense hatred.

More about The Bluest Eye

Open Document