Essay PreviewMore ↓
Pauline saw the beauty of life through the colors of her childhood down South. Her fondest memories were of purple berries, yellow lemonade, and "that streak of green them june bugs made on the trees the night we left down home. All them colors was in me"1. Pauline and Cholly left the colors of the South when they moved North to Ohio to begin their life together. Through Cholly, Pauline hoped to find those colors of beauty that she left "down home".
For a while she did find her colors, her beauty, in the eyes of Cholly. He released in her all the colors of life which were sealed down in her soul. Everything about their early married life was described in vivid colors. This was true even of her sexual experiences with him. Everything was fine, ordered and beautiful in both Pauline and Cholly's life until they moved "up North".
Once they moved North everything changed. The colors went out of Pauline's life. "I missed my people. I weren't used to so much white folks...Northern colored folk was different too"2. Cholly only became "meaner and meaner and wanted to fight all of the time"2. He did not help the situation and contributed to his wife's dissatisfaction and disillusionment by not coming home. He found his satisfaction through other people, thus he neglected Pauline.
To make up for this neglect and her own insecurities, Pauline sought comfort through movies. Here she would sit and watch the perfect "white" world of Hollywood. Here she would find her colors on the "silver screen". She had a longing for these colors which was going to affect her life and the lives of her family until it destroys them, especially Pecola.
When Pecola was born, a major change occured in Pauline's life. According to Susan Willis, "Adjectives become substantives, giving taste and color and making it possible for colors to trickle and flow and finally be internalized..."3. She now wished to live her life like this, through the colors in herself.
Right after Pecola was born Cholly again began to pay attention to Pauline again the way he used to when they lived down South. The only problem was that the colors had dimed in Pauline. By working for a white family, she found her order and her colors again but not with the intensity that she once did.
How to Cite this Page
"Use of Color in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Aug 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- It has been 153 years since the start of Civil War, and although it ends but it never dies. Racism is one of the most controversial issues that happened in America. The Civil War ended in 1865, but did not put an end to the suffering of African-Americans, and for more years many laws were passed that oppressed them even more. Because of their eagerness to have freedom and rights, it ended in a bloody way and many leaders of the movement were killed. They shed blood because of their devotions for their fellow men.... [tags: The Bluest Eye Essays]
1099 words (3.1 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)
- Use of Comparative Description in The Bluest Eye Upon reading The Bluest Eye a second time, I noticed something about the nature of Morrison's prose. The term that I have heard to describe the book most frequently is beautiful. The first chapters strike me as both incredibly realistic, and unbelievably beautiful. The fact that Morrison can give a scene where Claudia is actually throwing up on herself a rosy colored, nostalgic tint, and still manage to convey a sense of realism is a testament to Morrison's skill with words.... [tags: Essays on The Bluest Eye ]
507 words (1.4 pages)
- 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]
2420 words (6.9 pages)
- Social class is a major theme in the book The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Toni Morrison is saying that there are dysfunctional families in every social class, though people only think of it in the lower class. Toni Morrison was also stating that people also use social class to separate themselves from others and apart from race; social class is one thing Pauline and Geraldine admire.Claudia, Pecola, and Frieda are affected by not only their own social status, but others social status too - for example Geraldine and Maureen Peal.... [tags: social class theme, literary analysis]
1109 words (3.2 pages)
- The immoral acts of society raped Pecola Breedlove, took her innocence, and left her to go insane. The Random House Dictionary defines “rape” as “an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation.” The Random House definition perfectly describes what happens to Pecola over the course of the novel. From Pecola’s standpoint, society rapes her repeatedly, by their judgmental attitudes towards everything that she is; she is “ugly,” she is poor, she is black. In Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Morrison shines a critical light on society, illumining the immoral acts that it participates in, through the story of how a little girl is thrown by the wayside since she does not embod... [tags: Toni Morrison, Bluest Eye, rape, abuse, racism]
1604 words (4.6 pages)
- Abuse in The Bluest Eye The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, is about an eleven year old girl, Pecola, who is abused by almost everyone in her life. Every day she encounters racism, not just from the white people, but also from the African American people. In her eyes, her skin is too dark, and the color of her skin makes her inferior to everyone else. The color of her skin makes her think that she is ugly. She feels that she can overcome this if she can get blue eyes. Pecola thinks that if she can be like the blue eyed Shirley Temple, everyone will love her.... [tags: Bluest Eye Essays]
840 words (2.4 pages)
- 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]
610 words (1.7 pages)
- Toni Morrison the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, was born Chloe Anthony Wofford on February 18, 1931 in Lorain, Ohio. She was the second of four children to George and Ramah Wofford. Her parents moved to Ohio from the South to escape racism and to find better opportunities in the North. Lorain was a small industrial town populated with immigrant Europeans, Mexicans and Southern blacks who lived next door to each other. Chloe attended an integrated school. In the first grade she was the only black student in her class and the only one who could read.... [tags: Toni Morrison]
3021 words (8.6 pages)
- "Starlight star bright" make me beautiful tonight. So many young girls gaze into the stars wishing that they could be beautiful so they would be accepted at school, as well as loved and acknowledged more. Pecola Breedlove in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye is no different than any other little girl. She too wants to be beautiful. America has set the standards that to be beautiful one must have " blue eyes, blonde hair, and white skin" according to Wilfred D. Samuels Toni Morrison (10).... [tags: essays research papers]
1213 words (3.5 pages)
It is here in the "white" home, that Pauline takes the new identity, Polly. She seperates from her physical self, and enters into a world of the neat ordered white person, where she forgets her family, characterized by disorder, and blackness [ugliness]. She sees the "white" world with her vivid colors, while she sees the "black" world, where she comes from, in plain ugly black and white. In her "black" world, she sees no possibility of order, neatness, or color. This is because she stopped looking for them. She found a substitute for her family; a substitute that will bring the colors back into her life. Through this "scitzophrenia", the real damage to her family lies within the "white" world. It is from this world, in which she finds her "colors", that Pecola obtains her desire for "the bluest eyes".
Pauline and Pecola are not the only ones who are preoccupied by the idea of whiteness. The character of Claudia is also aware of order and beauty as seen through the eyes of the "white" world. The children are bombarded with visions of blonde children with bright blue eyes. Shirley Temple and Jean Harlow in movies; the figure of a little blonde Mary Jane, on the candy they eat, and the blond baby dolls they recieve as gifts, are all ways of reinforcing the stereotype of beauty and goodness that a black child could ever hope to achieve. This dilemma is offset, in Claudia's life, by the attention she recieves from her loving parents, that have showed her to love herself. This is a love of support that is not present in Pecola's life.
This is not to say that the love and support that Claudia received from her family does not offset the feeling of hate and confusion that she feels towards the white role models that she encounters everyday. She learns, as does Pecola, at a very young age, that the world looks differently on those with lighter skin. It is for this reason that Claudia destroys the white baby doll she receives. Through the destruction of the doll "...she is striking out against the horrifying dehumanization that acceptance of the model implies - both for the black who wears it as a mask and for the white who creates commodified images of the self"5.
The lie of beauty and perfection, in the "white" world, is reinforced each day, for the children, in the schoolroom. Claudia, with the help of supportive family, was able to understand that the fantasy world of "Dick and Jane", from the elementary reader, is a perfect world that does not exist and can never exist within their black community.
It is also quite clear that Pauline was not capable of understanding that perfection does not lie within the white world she so desperately wants to enter. She is also unaware that she is not a part of this world. In her mind the little white girl, whose family she works for, is her own perfect child. To make up for the dissatisfaction and disillusionment in her own life she "...gives their [her employer's] child a love she with holds from her own...6". This is felt deeply by both of her children but played out to a greater degree in the life of Pecola.
Unlike Claudia, Pecola does not have the family support to draw strength from and realize her own black identity. She gets no positive input from her parents because they are trying to realize their own true identities.
This lack of parental support causes Pecola to, "search painfully for self-esteem as a means of imposing order on the chaos of her world"7. Having no family base to lean on, she must retreat to her own fantasy. It is in this fantasy that she seeks her blue eyes. It is with these eyes that she believes she will become beautiful and will be accepted by society. It is with these same blue eyes that she hopes to gain the attention and love of her mother which is not present in her life now. "...for Pecola to feel acceptable, she must insure herself by possessing not only blue eyes but the bluest eyes created"8.
It is not fair to say that Pecola was not loved by her father, for he did love her in his own strange and twisted way. He was not able to show love for anyone because of his pent up anger towards white society. The times did not allow a black man to vent anger in the direction of the white community so he took his anger and frustration out on his family.
One of the major acts of his frustration manifests itself in the burning of the family home. It is through the colors of the fire that Cholly is able to release some, but not all, of his anger towards the white mans world. Another way that Cholly expresses his anger but, also his love, for Pecola is by his rape of her in the kitchen. It is here that the colors of his early marriage to Polly, and the happiness he felt, again enter his life. The same colors of happiness that Polly felt during their early marriage, Cholly, in his drunken state, again felt. Only it was not with his young wife that he "saw" the colors of happiness, but with his young daugther.
It is also through the rape that the world of Pecola and the whole Breedlove family turns black. Through his actions, his way of showing his daughter love, Pecola becomes, "the town's scapegoat and places her in company with the books other outcasts; the prostitute Miss Marie and the quack mystic Elihue Whitcomb, dubbed "Soaphead Church"9. It is through the whispers about Pecola and the shunning of her that the town justifies the image of good and beautiful. It is because Pecola becomes pregnant with her father's child that she no longer has the ability, if it ever exsisted, to be beautiful in the eyes of society. The pregancy has also destroyed her chances of recieving her mothers love and approval forever because she is dirty in everyones eyes.