Morrison provides the reader with a light-skinned black character whose racist attitudes affect the poorer, darker blacks in the community, especially the main characters, Claudia MacTeer and Pecola Breedlove. Maureen Peal comes from a rich black family and triggers admiration along with envy in every child at school, including Claudia. Although Maureen is light-skinned, she embodies everything that is considered "white," at least by Claudia's standards: "Patent leather shoes with buckles...fluffy sweaters the color of lemon drops tucked into skirts with pleats... brightly colored knee socks with white borders, a brown ...
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...m or desert him.
It should be understood that Morrison's novel is filled with many characters and many examples of racism and sexism and the foundations for such beliefs in the black community. Every character is the victim or an aggressor of racism of sexism in all its forms. Morrison succeeds in shedding light on the racism and sexism the black community had to endure on top of racism and sexism outside of the community. She shows that racism and sexism affect everyone's preconceived notions regarding race and gender and how powerful and prevalent the notions are. Within the community, racism affects how people's views of beauty and skin can be skewed by other's racist thoughts; sexism shapes everyone in the community's reactions to different forms of rape.
Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Afterward by Toni Morrison. New York: Penguin, 2004.
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