The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

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In The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, Pecola Breedlove attempts to measure up to the standard of beauty set by the Master Narrative: an ideological truth imposed by those in power. Pecola, persistent in her attempt to reach the convention of beauty, is never fully satisfied with herself, and quickly becomes obsessed in becoming ‘beautiful. Pecola begins to associate beauty with happiness and respect. This infinite pursuit for beauty has extremely destructive effects on Pecola’s self-esteem. By portraying Pecola’s perpetual, unrealistic endeavor to reach society’s standards and how she becomes submissive to these standards, Morrison reveals that one’s life can be overrun by viewing the world solely through the Master Narrative. Throughout the novel, Pecola is easily manipulated into believing what society tells her, and soon becomes fixated in achieving “beauty”. Due to certain events, Pecola comes to believe that beauty is the panacea to her life’s problems and the key to happiness, demonstrating how manipulating the Master Narrative can be. One of the more subtle events that affect Pecola’s mindset is when she goes to purchase a Mary Jane candy bar. When Pecola goes up to Mr. Yacobowski with her money, he barely acknowledges her: “At some fixed point in time and space he senses that he need not waste the effort of a glance. He does not see her, because for him there is nothing to see” (48). To Mr. Yacobowski, Pecola is so far from the socially acceptable standards: she is a black, poor, and ugly child. Mr. Yacobowski’s blunt ignorance is similar to many other people’s reactions when Pecola is around. Pecola doesn’t know how to think for herself yet, and from this encounter she is forced to see herself, in the eyes of Mr.... ... middle of paper ... ...nipulated into looking at herself through the eyes of everyone around her. She connects beauty with being loved and respected and believes that if she were beautiful, all the spite in her life would be replaced by warmth and she would be seen in a positive light. When Pecola finally believes that she has achieved beauty she feels unfulfilled and begins to obsess in being the best -- the most beautiful. Pecola’s state of mind has transformed from simply hoping for her wish to become a possibility, into desperately willing for the completion of the wish. This hopeless desire ultimately leads to insanity, suggesting that Pecola’s inability to have her own opinions greatly damages her, and that in the long run she will remain unhappy unless she develops a self-confident mind of her own. Works Cited Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York: Plume Book, 1994. Print.

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