Morrison depicts a large part of African American culture when she places the characters in an urban area. The change of environment from the north to the south plays a key role in the loss of communal ties. African Americans are extremely affected given that they are displaced and are attempting to conform to northern cultural standards. The emphasis in the north is on material wealth and beauty, whereas the south is more family oriented.
The migration may have displaced many people, however it does provide job opportunities as well as economic gain. Pauline and Cholly were migrants from small rural towns. Upon getting married, Cholly suggested a move "`way up north. . .where steel mills were begging for workers" (92). The surge of industrial workers created a strong working class, allowing African Americans to purchase homes. The open job market made owning property attainable for many African Americans. New wages and job opportunities enhanced the quality of living for the new residents. Purchasing power took on significance in the African American home, and love is replaced with material items.
Love is replaced with gift giving, and the gifts must conform to white ideals. Claudia experiences this phenomenon at Christmas when she receives a "big blue eyed baby doll" (19). Claudia reflects on how she felt about the doll when stating, "I had only one desire: to dismember it. To see what it was made of to discover the dearness, to find the beauty" (20). In Susan Willis' critical essay "I Shop Therefore I Am" she discusses the reasoning behind Claudia's anger towards the doll. Upon receiving the doll, Claudia's main purpose is to discover the rootedness of white domination. The onl...
... middle of paper ...
...ass citizens in white America, given that they were brought over as slaves.
The enslavement of African Americans by whites severed any cultural ties and dehumanized the slaves. Masters convinced African Americans that they were incapable of culture in order to create a paternal relationship. The loss of identity forced the slaves to act as their masters deemed appropriate. African Americans' migration to the north parralled this concept-they must conform to the standards of white culture that they are trained to obey. Identifying with their own culture in a new environment is difficult, because conformity is essential to fit into white society. The migration from the south to the north changed African American values from community to commodity, destroying cultural ties.
Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The transition from childhood to adulthood is not as clear cut as the physical traits would suggest. The female transition is no exception. Culture has a major role in deciding when the change occurs. Some mark a specific age as the point of passage while others are known to acknowledge physical changes. Regardless, cultures around the world understand that there is a distinct difference between the two. Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye tells a story in the perspective of a young black girl, Claudia, as well as the perspective of her as a woman.... [tags: Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye]
2188 words (6.3 pages)
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Beauty is dangerous, especially when you lack it. In the book "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison, we witness the effects that beauty brings. Specifically the collapse of Pecola Breedlove, due to her belief that she did not hold beauty. The media in the 1940's as well as today imposes standards in which beauty is measured up to; but in reality beauty dwells within us all whether it's visible or not there's beauty in all; that beauty is unworthy if society brands you with the label of being ugly.... [tags: Bluest Eye Toni Morrison]
1122 words (3.2 pages)
- Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye In the novel, The Bluest Eye, the author, Toni Morrison, tells the tragic story of Pecola Breedlove. Pecola longs for acceptance from the world. She is an innocent little girl, however, she is rejected practically by the whole world, and her own parents. Pecola endures physical and verbal abuse at home, and also at school. She is always the main character in the jokes that usually refer to her very dark skin. Her mother cherishes the white daughter of the family she works for and calls her own daughter a "rotten piece of apple.... [tags: Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye]
480 words (1.4 pages)
- The Bluest Eye There are many themes that seem to run throughout this story. Each theme and conflict seems to always involve the character of Pecola Breedlove. There is the theme of finding an identity. There is also the theme of Pecola as a victim. Of all the characters in the story we can definitely sympathize with Pecola because of the many harsh circumstances she has had to go through in her lifetime. Perhaps her rape was the most tragic and dramatic experience Pecola had experiences, but nonetheless she continued her life.... [tags: Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye]
1195 words (3.4 pages)
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison "And Pecola. She hid behind hers. (Ugliness) Concealed, veiled, eclipsed--peeping out from behind the shroud very seldom, and then only to yearn for the return of her mask" (Morrison 39). In the novel The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, the main character, Pecola, comes to see herself as ugly. This idea she creates results from her isolation from friends, the community, and ever her family. There are three stages that lead up to Pecola portraying herself as an ugly human being.... [tags: Toni Morrison Bluest Eye Analysis]
952 words (2.7 pages)
- Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye provides social commentary on a lesser known portion of black society in America. The protagonist Pecola is a young black girl who desperately wants to feel beautiful and gain the “bluest eyes” as the title references. The book seeks to define beauty and love in this twisted perverse society, dragging the reader through Morrison’s emotional manipulations. Her father Cholly Breedlove steals the reader’s emotional attention from Pecola as he enters the story.... [tags: Toni Morrison Bluest Eye Essays]
2708 words (7.7 pages)
- Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye One of the most prominent themes found in Toni Morrison’s acutely tragic novel The Bluest Eye is the transferal or redirection of emotions in an effort on the part of the characters to make pain bearable. The most obvious manifestation of that is the existence of race hatred for one’s own race that pervades the story; nearly every character that the narrator spends time with feels at some point a self-loathing as a result of the racism present in 1941 American society.... [tags: Toni Morrison Bluest Eye Essays]
1449 words (4.1 pages)
- Cinema in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye In Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye, characters learn how to perform social roles though film. Pauline goes to the movies in search of a more glamorous identity. Instead, the unattainable beauty she sees onscreen reaffirms her low place in society. Laura Mulvey’s article, Visual and Other Pleasures, explains film’s ability to indoctrinate patriarchal social order. This ability is certainly applicable to Morrison’s novel. Film reinforces the Breedloves’ place in society, teaches Claudia to love Shirley Temple and constructs women as sexual objects for pleasure.... [tags: Toni Morrison Bluest Eye Essays]
1582 words (4.5 pages)
- 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.... [tags: The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison Essays]
1780 words (5.1 pages)
- The Bluest Eye Social Issues With The Bluest Eye, Morrison has not only created a story, but also a series of painfully accurate impressions. As Dee puts it "to read the book...is to ache for remedy" (20). But Morrison raises painful issues while at the same time managing to reveal the hope and encouragement beneath the surface. A reader might easily conclude that the most prominent social issue presented in The Bluest Eye is that of racism, but more important issues lie beneath the surface.... [tags: Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye]
562 words (1.6 pages)