Free Bluest Eye Essays - Learning to Hate

Free Bluest Eye Essays - Learning to Hate

Length: 1051 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

The Bluest Eye  - Learning to Hate



Many American's today are not satisfied with their physical appearance. They do not feel that they are as beautiful as the women on television or in magazines. The media is brainwashing American females that if they are not slim and have blonde hair and blue eyes, they are not beautiful. This causes women not only to hate the ideal females, but also hate themselves. In Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye two of her main characters, Claudia and Pecola show hatred toward others, and themselves because they are not as beautiful as the supreme females.


Claudia's hatred starts at the beginning of the novel when she and her sister are staring at Rosemary Villanucci. Rosemary has what Claudia and Frieda want. They want the things that white people have. "We stare at her, wanting her bread, but more than that wanting to poke the arrogance out of her eyes and smash the pride of ownership that curls her chewing mouth."(Morrison, p.9) Claudia and Frieda hate Rosemary because she has all of the things that Claudia and Frieda will never have or be, particularly Rosemary's white skin. This forces a feeling of self-hatred for being black upon the girls.


You can see Claudia's hatred again when she receives a white baby doll for Christmas. Instead of adoring and cradling the new gift, as most other children would have done, she mutilated and destroyed the doll. "Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window sign - all the world had agreed that a blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned doll was what every girl child treasured. `Here,' they said, 'this is beautiful, and if you are on this day `worthy' you may have it.'" (Morrison p. 20-21) She hated the doll's blonde hair and blue eyes staring back at her, reminding her of how different she looked from the doll. She knew that she was wrong for destroying the doll, but she could not refrain herself from doing it. The doll, symbolized the perfect girl, and she knew she was very far from looking like her. In Emily Prager's essay "Our Barbies, Ourselves", she "reveals the damaging effect of a doll that establishes such an impossible standard of physical perfection for little girls.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Bluest Eye Essays - Learning to Hate." 15 Aug 2018

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Racial Beauty Standards In The Bluest Eye Essay

- In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, the character Claudia struggles with a beauty standard that harms her sense of self-esteem. Claudia tries to make sense of why the beauty standard does not include black girls. The beauty standard determines that blonde-haired blue-eyed white girls are the image of beauty and therefore they are worthy of not only attention, but are considered valuable to American culture of the 1940s. Thus, learning she has no value or beauty as a black girl, Claudia destroys her white doll in an attempt to understand why white girls are beautiful and subsequently worthy, socially superior members of society....   [tags: Toni Morrison]

Research Papers
1353 words (3.9 pages)

Self-Hate in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay

- At a time when blue-eyed, pale skin Shirley Temple is idolized by white and black alike, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove desperately seeks out beauty for herself. In order to attain beauty in her culture, Pecola must do the impossible: find white beauty. Toni Morrison shows the disastrous effects that colorism and racism can have on a whole culture and how African- Americans will tear each other apart in order to fit into the graces of white society. The desire to be considered beautiful in the white world is so compelling, that the characters in The Bluest Eye loathe their own skin color and feel shame for their culture....   [tags: Essays on The Bluest Eye 2014]

Research Papers
2420 words (6.9 pages)

Cinema in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
1582 words (4.5 pages)

The Power of The Bluest Eye Essay

- The Power of The Bluest Eye America has been described by various terms such as melting pot and tossed salad, but what these terms are trying to convey is that America is a country of great diversity. The literature of this country reflects its population in its diversity of genres, themes, language, and voices. One of these voices is Toni Morrison, an author who knows and appreciates the power of language, and uses it. In her Nobel Prize acceptance speech she states, "The vitality of language lies in its ability to limn the actual, imagined and possible lives of its speakers, readers, writers"....   [tags: Bluest Eye Essays]

Free Essays
536 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye

- 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]

Research Papers
1449 words (4.1 pages)

The Bluest Eye and the Contemporary American Novel Essay

- The Bluest Eye and the Contemporary American Novel There are an infinite number of possible ways to study the development of the American novel. In doing so you invariably have to read a good number of books by American authors. The problem is you can't just walk into the bookstore and pick a few writers, read their novels, and think you understand the way the American novel came about. You have to follow certain guidelines, and read from different time periods to further your understanding....   [tags: Bluest Eye Essays]

Free Essays
495 words (1.4 pages)

Racism in in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay

- Both Toni Morrison's novel about an African American family in Ohio during the 1930s and 1940s, The Bluest Eye and Louise Erdrich;s novel about the Anishinabe tribe in the 1920s in North Dakota, Tracks are, in part, about seeing. Both novels examine the effects of a kind of seeing that is refracted through the lens of racism by subjects of racism themselves. Erdrich's Pauline Puyat and Morrison's Pecola Breedlove are crazy from their dealings with racism and themselves suffer from an internalized racism that is upheld and maintained by social and cultural structures within which they live....   [tags: Bluest Eye Essays]

Research Papers
599 words (1.7 pages)

Family Relationships in Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
1780 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

- Beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Some people will argue with you that there is always an ugly duckling somewhere in a family. I see it different, I see these people as unique. In Toni Morrison's book, The Bluest Eye there is the issue of being beautiful and ugly. In this essay I will discuss how Toni Morrison book The Bluest Eye initiates that during 1941 white was beautiful and black was ugly in the surrounding of two families. The issue of beauty versus ugliness is portraying through out this book....   [tags: The Bluest Eye]

Research Papers
629 words (1.8 pages)

The Nobel Prize and The Bluest Eye Essay

- The Nobel Prize and The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison's Nobel prize acceptance speech has many interesting parallels between that and her novel The Bluest Eye. The speech opens up new ideas and interesting correlations between the address and the story. In this paper, I will document how parts of Morrison's speech uses situations in The Bluest Eye. The first being that of the story about the blind woman and the bird. Morrison says, "Her answer can be taken to mean: if it is dead, you have either found it that way or you have killed it....   [tags: Bluest Eye Essays]

Free Essays
444 words (1.3 pages)

Related Searches

"(Prager, p. 706) Many young girls receive Barbie doll's to play with when they are younger. They see how beautiful Barbie is and they think that they are expected to look like her. This causes self hatred and also causes the girls to become insecure of themselves.


Pecola showed her hatred in a different way. Instead of hating people that were beautiful like Claudia did, she hated herself for not being the ideal woman. Sammy her brother, often ran away from the house because of their parents' fighting. Pecola wondered why he never took her with him. The idea that blue eyes are a necessity for beauty had been imprinted on Pecola her whole life. "If she looked different, beautiful, maybe Cholly would be different, and Mrs. Breedlove too. Maybe they'd say, `Why, look at pretty-eyed Pecola. We mustn't do bad things in front of those pretty eyes'" (Morrison p.46). She thought that maybe if she were prettier, and if she had blue eyes, then things would be different and her problems would all go away. She dreamed of being good-looking and having blue eyes, hoping that this will gain her society's respect and not force her to live her life in shame. If she was pretty, she believed that she will be loved, especially by her own family. She would see herself as beautiful, instead of the ugly little girl she is disgusted with. "Long hours she sat looking in the mirror, trying to discover the secret of the ugliness, the ugliness that made her ignored or despised at school, by teachers and classmates alike." (Morrison, p. 45)


Pecola idolized gorgeous white girls and hoped someday to become like them. One person she really wanted to be like was Shirley Temple because of her blonde hair and blue eyes. When Pecola moves in with Claudia, she finds a Shirley Temple mug. She begins to drink milk out of it at every opportunity she gets, hoping that it will make her beautiful and make her look like the girl she sees in front of her, even if it meant drinking three quarts of milk in a day. Also, the fact that she is drinking milk shows how Pecola hopes that it will change her looks, because the milk is white, and her skin is black. Another person she envied was Maureen Peal. Maureen is a girl who is in the same grade as Pecola, but the two girls are treated very differently. While Pecola is rejected by society, Maureen is adored. She has lighter skin than most blacks, has green eyes, and wears her hair in thick braids. She wears nice clothes and new green socks with a white stripe. She seems to be perfect in comparison to Pecola. Pecola wears old clothes and shabby brown socks, belongs to a poor family, is ugly and has dark brown eyes, and is most definitely not adored by anyone. Maureen became a symbol of beauty to Pecola, comparable to Shirley Temple.


In this book Toni Morrison speaks to both whites and blacks. She is trying to show how a racist social system wears down the minds and souls of people. She is also showing how dominate images of good-looking white people with blonde hair, blue eyes and wonderful lives show young children that to be white means to be successful and happy. This causes many young black children to look around at their own lives of poverty and learn to hate their black heritage like Pecola did. Not only black children are affected, but many people from all ethnicities are facing these problems. Because they are not beautiful, they are trying every way to become better looking then they are. Some people are getting many plastic surgeries done, while others go to the extreme of starving themselves to become thin. People need realize that the inner beauty is what counts rather then the outer beauty. Ultimately, this novel reveals the insecurities about beauty found in everyone; not just young black girls like Pecola.


Return to