The Nobel Prize and The Bluest Eye

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The Nobel Prize and The Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison's Nobel prize acceptance speech has many interesting parallels between that and her novel The Bluest Eye. The speech opens up new ideas and interesting correlations between the address and the story. In this paper, I will document how parts of Morrison's speech uses situations in The Bluest Eye.

The first being that of the story about the blind woman and the bird. Morrison says, "Her answer can be taken to mean: if it is dead, you have either found it that way or you have killed it. If it is alive, you can still kill it. Whether it is to say alive, it is your decision. Whatever the case, it is your responsibility." The characters in the novel are also responsible for their own actions, regardless if situations happen beyond their control. Meaning that the characters in the novel cannot lament their life because things got away from them. While there is incest and a subsequent pregnancy involved, it is possible that the character is able to reach beyond the path set for them and exceed anyone's expectations. By talking about responsibility, Morrison is able to make people think about their lives and make them realize that it is possible to have things be better.

"Sexist language, racist language, theistic language all are typical of the policing languages of mastery, and cannot, do not permit new knowledge or encourage the mutual exchange of ideas." This quote by Morrison seems rather unusual, considering that she did incorporate some of these ideas into her work. It sounds as though in this quote that by using such characteristics in a work, it somehow loads it down with extraneous details. However, in Morrison's The Bluest Eye, it only enhances the reading and furthers the reader's understanding of the time.

In accordance with the understanding of the reading and the enhancement of the words on the pages, Morrison fulfills the obligation of the following quote in The Bluest Eye: "The vitality of language lies in its ability to limn the actual, imagined and possible lives of its speakers, readers, writers.
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