The Bluest Eyes, by Toni Morrison

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In “The Bluest Eyes”, the author Toni Morrison portrays the idea of beauty and its standard on African Americans live in the white American society through a narrator named Claudia. The protagonist of Morrison’s novel, Pecola Breedlove, is the truest of all victims, for she is an innocent little girl born into a family that does not provide her with any support to endure society's racial prejudices. The little black girl Pecola is in a mad desire for blue eyes, which shows white-dominated culture has almost assimilated African American women and made them lost. The Bluest Eye reveals the truth that the black Americans will not be able to live with dignity if they give up the black culture under the impact of the dominant culture of the white people in the American society. In “The Bluest Eye”, Morrison depicts the ways that white beauty standard changes the lives of black women. Whiteness is superior throughout the book from the doll that Claudia received during Christmas, admiration of Shirley Temple’s cup, Mary Jane on candy wrappers, to famous white actress Jean Harlow. The obsession of Pecola Breedlove for blue eyes acts as a way to transcend her own ugliness and to become beautiful as white females. "Each night without fail she prayed for blue eyes...she would never know her beauty." (Morrison 53) Pecola blamed on her ugliness as reasons people in her town dislike her and the love and support that is missing from her family. One important theme that illustrates her passiveness in believing her ugliness is in Mr. Yacobowski’s candy store. Pecola went into a candy store to buy candies but the store owner, Mr. Yacobowski stared at her as if he could not recognize her, “because for him there is nothing to see.” (Morrison 67) Pe... ... middle of paper ... ... turn their scorn toward Cholly or toward White standards but toward Pecola, the ultimate victim. The self hatred for being black and the ideals of beauty has made Pecola desiring for a beauty that does not belong to her and ultimately lost her sanity. Claudia, reflecting on the past, remembered "All of us felt so wholesome after we stood astride her ugliness. Her inarticulateness made us believe we were eloquent. We honed our egos on her, padded our characters with her frailty, and yawned in the fantasy of our strength"(Morrison 205). The townspeople took advantage of Pecola's standardized ugliness and her self-hatred to make them more acceptable to the standard beauty. One should love who she is and see through her own eyes on the surrounding. It is up to each individual’s wish to accept who they are and not to be carried away with society’s beauty standard.

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