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The Story of Pecola Breedlove in The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison

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The Story of Pecola Breedlove in The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison

The story of Pecola Breedlove in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is very dramatic. Like a seed planted in bad soil and in a hostile condition, Pecola, a very young and innocent African American girl, does not have a chance to grow up normally like her peers. Her parents' personal history is shown to have played out in extreme measures in her life. Her father, abandoned since childhood, does not have a sense of fatherhood. Her mother is a product of hatred and ignorance. The Breedlove's all are confronted by prejudice on a daily basis, both classism and racism, and for the first time, the white standard of beauty. Growing up in this environment, Pecola is vulnerable in every way and becomes the victim of discrimination by both white and black people in her community.

Inherited from her mother the feelings of rejection, Pecola is a vulnerable girl. The novel indicates that her mother, from the early part of her life, felt a sense of separateness and unworthiness and that she "never felt at home anywhere, or that she belonged anyplace" (111). Consequently, from Pecola's birth, her mother placed upon Pecola the same shroud of shame, weakness, and inadequacy. The circumstances surrounding Pecola's first period are consistent with the vulnerability of her position. Pecola is not even with her own mother when it happens. There is a real sense that Pecola cannot participate in traditions, or receive wisdom from previous generations, because her family life is so unhealthy. When her own body begins to change, she can only fear it. Her mother has not taken care to prepare her for those changes, in sharp contrast to Mrs. MacTeer, who has fully prepared ...

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...Pecola as an individual. She instead sees Pecola as an abstracted representative of a whole social class, a social class she hates, and consequently she was merciless and cruel to Pecola.

While everyone continue to treat Pecola bad in every way, Pecola retreats further and further from the real world into madness. "Certain seeds it [the land] will not nurture, certain fruit it will not bear and when the land kills of its own volition, we say that the victim had no right to live" (206). Nature retains the right to dictate which seeds it will bear to fruition and those that it will reject. Pecola is that "certain seed" that never had a chance to grow and succeed because she lived in a hostile environment that rejected her, one that would not and could not nurture her.

Works Cited

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993.
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