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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. Those without hate often change their personalities and ways of thinking in order to become a part of an attitude which appears to be strong. However, this hatred is based on fear, it is weak.
While reading The Bluest Eyes, a complex of emotions filled within me. I found myself putting my emotions and all of my heart into the lives of two girls, Claudia and Pecola, who both struggled to truly find themselves. Although I can not say this book and these two young girls mirror my life completely, I can say the strength found in Claudia and the wanting to be accepted in Pecola's heart was not only their own, but mine as well.
Being a black author, you forced me to relate myself to your words on a greater level than any other because of our similar skin tones and life experiences. You then caused me to ask questions about the strength of my heart, and if I could handle the pressure of never thinking I was good enough. In The Bluest Eyes, Pecola regrets the way she looks, calling herself ugly and wanting to fit in. During her tribulations, my heart yearned for some understanding of how she could not search into her own soul and find the beauty and love that was placed within. I then realized, I needed to do the same. Growing up in my neighborhood, children that shared my ancestry were very scarce. In middle school I became active in various organizations, and in high school I became a part colorguard, yet I still was not happy.
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I am still a part of guard and now a captain; I have formed relationships with my peers that appreciate who I am and accept the real me. Not because of the way they changed, but because I looked into the mirror and saw an image of a fake person without true friends, without a real family and without a clue. I became confident in myself and began to relate to another young woman in the book, Claudia. Claudia refused to let anything change her she acknowledged her weaknesses yet she didn't let them destroy her. She shared her strengths without giving away her soul.
Although there are still people who do not approve of me and do not like me, it does not matter, because I love myself and I know that being myself and staying true to who I really am will better my life. Thank you Claudia, thank you Pecola and thank you Mrs. Toni Morrison for helping me find myself and not allowing me to create a fantasy world just so I could fit in.