Family Relationships in Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay

Family Relationships in Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay

Length: 1780 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Family Relationships in Morrison's The Bluest Eye

“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, is a story about the life of a young black girl, Pecola Breedlove, who is growing up during post World War I. She prays for the bluest eyes, which will “make her beautiful” and in turn make her accepted by her family and peers. The major issue in the book, the idea of ugliness, was the belief that “blackness” was not valuable or beautiful. This view, handed down to them at birth, was a cultural hindrance to the black race.

A main theme in this novel is the influence of family relationships in the quest for individual identity. Our family or lack thereof, as children, ultimately influences the way we feel as adults, about ourselves and about others. The effects on us mold our personalities and as a result influence our identities. This story shows us the efforts of struggling black families who transmit patterns and problems that have a negative impact on their family relationships. These patterns continue to go unresolved and are eventually inherited by their children who will also accept this way of life as this vicious circle continues.

Having inherited the myth of ugliness and unworthiness, the characters throughout the story, with the exception of the MacTeer family, will not only allow this to happen, but will instill this in their children to be passed on to the next generation. Beauty precedes love, the grownups seem to say, and only a few possess beauty, so they remain unloved and unworthy. Throughout the novel, the convictions of sons and daughters are the same as their fathers and mothers. Their failures and accomplishments are transferred to their children and to future generations.

It is int...


... middle of paper ...


... son, Louis, Jr. The cat becomes her surrogate child as the blue-eyed Fisher child became the surrogate child to Pauline Breedlove. The cat will die physically as Pecola will die mentally.

Soaphead Church was a mixed black and white ancestry from the Caribbean. He inherits the need to be British and to erase all color. His schoolmaster father developed his own legacy of Anglophilia into a narrow intellectual statement of the unworthiness of man. Being a mulatto, he knew the “non-life he had learned on the flat side of his father’s belt.” Because racism prevents Soaphead from getting the job that his education merits, he gives up, he ends up with a non-life, like his father and his wife, the only person he ever truly loved, abandons him. He uses little Pecola to rid himself of the mangy dog that represents non-white, non-perfect beings whom he despises.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Evil of Fulfillment in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay

- Evil of Fulfillment The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, tells the sordid story of Pecola, a young colored girl, as she struggles to attain beauty, desperately praying for blue eyes. Depicting the fallacies in the storybook family, Morrison weaves the histories of the many colored town folk into the true definition of a family. Through intense metaphor and emotion, the ugliness of racial tension overcomes the search for beauty and in turn the search for love. Pecola, a twelve year old from a broken home, is first introduced when she is sent to live with Claudia (the narrator) and her family....   [tags: Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye]

Free Essays
653 words (1.9 pages)

Free Bluest Eye Essays - Toni Morrison Helped Me Find Myself

- The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison Helped Me Find Myself Toni Morrison, I owe you my deepest thanks for helping me to appreciate the image I see in the mirror, the voice I hear when I speak, and the rhythm in my step as I walk. Many attitudes remain the same as they were in my parent's youth. Some people still stare at others because they are different and some still carry hatred and anger in their hearts because another person's skin color is not the same as theirs. Yet, there are those who do not carry such hate in their hearts, but allow themselves to be influenced by the bold intimidation of those who do....   [tags: Bluest Eye Essays]

Free Essays
693 words (2 pages)

Essay The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison

- It would seem as though all of the odds are stacked against a young, poor, dark-skinned African-American girl living in Lorain, Ohio, in 1941. Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, which tells the story of one such girl named Pecola, is set during a time when racism is still widespread in American society. White standards for every aspect of life – from personal and familial relationships to socioeconomic status to beauty – are imposed upon all children from a young age, and as a result, white and black adults alike develop internalized racism....   [tags: Black people, White people, African American]

Powerful Essays
1039 words (3 pages)

Toni Morrison 's The Bluest Eye Essay

- “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”: A Marxist reading of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison born Chloe Walker was born in Lorain, Ohio in 1931. In 1949, after graduating from Lorain high school, Morrison attended Howard University. Where she majored in English and minored in classics, also while attending Howard University Morrison was an active socialite. By 1954 Morrison graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Upon graduation Morrison devoted her time to teaching at prestigious universities such as Yale, Princeton, Howard and Southern University....   [tags: Sociology, Social class, Marxism, Bourgeoisie]

Powerful Essays
1649 words (4.7 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Morrison 's The Bluest Eye

- Morrison’s The Bluest Eye appears to be a commentary that discusses how past history is living present in a political, social, racial and personal sense. The novel was published in 1970, with a setting of Midwest America post The Great Depression, inferring that although many years had passed Morrison still feels that the same issues of society live on. The past oppression of racial discrimination and domestic issues appear to be present in the novel, affecting characters fates and initial choices....   [tags: White people, Black people, Discrimination]

Powerful Essays
1481 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about Conforming to Beauty in The Bluest Eye

- Black Hole Sun The characters within The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, all attempt to conform to a standard of beauty in some way. This standard of beauty is established by the society in which they live, and then supported by members of the community. Beauty is also linked with respect and happiness. Both people who reach the standard of beauty, and those who try, are never really satisfied with who they are. This never-ending race to become beautiful has devastating effects on their relationships and their own self-esteem....   [tags: Toni Morrison]

Powerful Essays
1298 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Subaltern Children in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

- Toni Morrison (1931- ) is a Noble Prize and Pulitzer Prize—winning writer, who has emerged as one of the major contemporary Afro-American women novelists on the literary scene of American literature. The burden of history, the devastating effects of race, gender or class on an individual and especially on a woman in American white, male-dominated society constitute her thematic concerns. Morrison in her very first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), examines the debilitating effects of race, class, and gender on three pre-teen African American girls, Pecola, Claudia and Frieda, in 1940s’ Ohio....   [tags: afro-american women, identities, prince]

Powerful Essays
1557 words (4.4 pages)

Sad Child's Life in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Essay

- Highly acclaimed author Toni Morrison once said, “In order to be as free as I possibly can, in my own imagination, I can’t take positions that are closed. Everything I’ve ever done, in the writing world, has been to expand articulation, rather than to close it, to open doors, sometimes, not even closing the book – leaving the endings open for reinterpretation and revisitation.” Morrison’s first novel, The Bluest Eye, tells the tragic story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Ridiculed by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, Pecola longs for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in....   [tags: african american, injustice, race]

Powerful Essays
610 words (1.7 pages)

Essay on Themes of House on Mango Street, and The Bluest Eye

- Disturbing Themes of House on Mango Street, and The Bluest Eye   Sandra Cisneros was born in Chicago and grew up in Illinois, the only girl in a family of seven. Cisneros is noted for her collection of poems and books that concentrate on the Chicana experience in the United States. In her writing, Cisneros explores and transcends borders of location, ethnicity, gender and language. Cisneros writes in lyrical yet deceptively simple language, she makes the invisible visible by centering on the lives of Chicanas, their relationships with their families, their religion, their art, and their politics....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Powerful Essays
1596 words (4.6 pages)

Childhood Presented in To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

- Childhood Presented in To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Childhood should be a time of great learning, curiosity, joy, playfulness and guiltlessness. The reality is that it can be a time of extreme vulnerability and dependency. The innocence and fragility of a child is easily manipulated and abused if not nurtured and developed. Family relationships are crucial in the flourishing of young minds, but other childhood associations are important too. These include school life, friends, play and peer-group....   [tags: English Literature Childhood Essays]

Powerful Essays
3582 words (10.2 pages)