The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison

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The Bluest Eye is one of the most famous and elegant works by Toni Morrison. The novel shows how women are affected by society through the eyes of an African American family during the Great Depression. The novel is being researched because many connections can be made in today’s society. In the novel The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, it provides an extended interpretation of how the “perfect White American” is the current standard of beauty, which distorts the lives of African American women and children, through the messages provided everywhere in their lives. The theme of white superiority is portrayed through the lives and stories told by the characters, Claudia, Pecola and Frieda, daughters of the MacTeer family. Through the struggles those people have endured, Morrison shows the readers the destructive effect of this internalized idea of white beauty on the individual and society. xx The Bluest Eye has a number of elements that relate closely to Toni Morrison’s own personal life. The story’s setting is in Lorain, Ohio, the town in which Morrison grew up. In Lorain, their population is taken to account ethnically unequal. Segregation was legal throughout the Depression era. However, the community was largely integrated, each African American and white children would enroll in the same schools, and neighborhoods were extremely interracial. The novel is told through the eyes a nine-year-old girl, which was, in 1941, how old Morrison would have been, the year the novel takes place. Similarly to the MacTeer family within the novel, Morrison’s family struggled financially during the Great Depression. Through The Bluest Eye, Morrison makes an announcement about how vulnerable a young African American woman, like herself, is as she ... ... middle of paper ... ...acrificial act in order to award her with her blue eyes. Once Pecola had performed the mischievous act, she was certain she would have been awarded blue eyes, which slowly drove her sanity away. xx The Bluest Eye presents an intricate representation of discrimination in the fact that there are no instances where a White American had persecuted an African American. The protagonists dealt with an internalized form of racism that challenged their values within their society. The unsophisticated comparison of Maureen’s light skin to Pecola’s dark skin is a perfect example because it is apparent that one is better than the other. Morrison has provided examples that The Bluest Eye is not only discussing the exclusion of the act of racism, but also the tension put on the African American race to adapt to destructive cultural principles and unfair standards. xx

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