The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

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The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Beauty is said to be in the eyes of the beholder, but what if the image of beauty is forced into the minds of many? The beauty of a person could be expressed in many different ways, as far as looks and personality goes, but the novel The Bluest Eye begs to differ. It contradicts the principle, because beauty is no longer just a person’s opinion but beauty has been made into an unwritten rule, a standard made by society for society. The most important rule is that in order to be beautiful, girls have to look just like a white doll, with blue eyes, light pink skin, and have blond hair. And if they’re not, they are not beautiful. Pecola, one of community’s ugly children, lives life each day wanting to be accepted. “The wider community also fails Pecola. Having absorbed the idea that she is ugly and knowing that she is unloved, Pecola desperately wants the blue eyes that she understands will make a child lovable in American society”(Kubitschek 35). In The Bluest Eye, Morrison argues that the black females in society have been forced to accept the blond hair blue eyed image as the only beauty that exists Little girls in Lorain had it set in their heads that they should all grow up owning a blond haired and blue-eyed doll, also know as Shirley Temple. These images were placed in their minds, making them feel as if they had to live up to the expectations by going with the crowd, and letting their surroundings influence them. “ Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs- all the world had agreed that a blue-eye, yellow haired, pink-skinned doll was every girl child’s treasure”(Morrison 20). Society sees Shirley Temple as the angelic picture perfect child, and anything that’s not Shirley Temple, they are considered to be ugly. The Shirley Temple face is the cause of Pecola being hypnotized and it’s the reason for her to drink three whole quarts of milk. It isn’t because she is lacking milk or due to sheer greediness, it is because “ …she was fond of the Shirley Temple cup and took every opportunity to drink milk out of it just to see and handle sweet Shirley’s face”(Morrison 23). Another blond beauty that girls look up to and imitate is Mary Jane. Mary Jane’s face is on the wrapper of each piece of candy, the ones that Pecola bought for three pieces a penny. When Pecola goes to buy the Mary Jane candy, s... ... middle of paper ... ...mselves in two groups: the white the beautiful and the blacks the ugly. “…This illness, this belief that white sets the standards for beauty…” is the basis for the beginning of the hatred and demoralization of the Breedloves (Lazarescu 5/7). They’ve been separated even from the other blacks so therefore one feels as if the other is greater in life. The white people portrayed their image as being the only beautiful that exists and made “…little black girls yearn for the blue eyes of a little white girl...”(Morrison 204). The blacks in this novel have it all set in their minds that “if you have one life to live, live it as a blond” and this belief is what tore Pecola’s life apart (Weever 1/5). Work Cited Page Weever, Jacqueline de: The Inverted World of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye and Sula CLA Journal, Vol. XXII, No. 4, June, 1979, pp. 402-14. Infotrac, 12-13-04 http://galenet.galegroup.com Lazarescu, Lisa R: Copyright 2003, Oregon College,18 aug 2003 http://web.cocc.edu/lisal/thebluesteye/themes.htm Kubitschek, Missy Dehn: Toni Morrison: A Critical Companion 27- 46 Westport: Greenwood,1998. Morrison, Toni: The Bluest Eye. New York: Penguin Group, 1994.

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