For further information on her life and complete works, see CLC, Volumes 4, 10, 22, 87, and Inspired by a conversation Morrison once had with an elementary school classmate who wished for blue eyes, the novel poignantly shows the psychological devastation of a young black girl, Pecola Breedlove, who searches for love and acceptance in a world that denies and devalues people of her own race. As her mental state slowly unravels, Pecola hopelessly longs to possess the conventional American standards of feminine beauty—namely, white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes—as presented to her by the popular icons and traditions of white culture. With its sensitive portrait of African American female identity and its astute critique of the internalized racism bred by American cultural definitions of beauty, The Bluest Eye has been widely seen as a literary watershed, inspiring a proliferation of literature written by African American women about their identity and experience as women of color.
Study Questions 1 The Bluest Eye uses multiple narrators, including Claudia as a child, Claudia as an adult, and an omniscient narrator.
Which narrative point of view do you think is most central to the novel and why?
A case can be made for the centrality of any of the three narrators listed above. At the same time, she is comparatively more confident and secure than Pecola, so she can articulate things that Pecola cannot. Morrison designs The Bluest Eye to make us sympathize with even the most violent and hurtful characters, which means that this question has many possible answers.
Pecola is the most obvious candidate for our sympathy, because she undergoes a shocking amount of abuse. But to some degree, Pecola remains a shadowy, mysterious character—we are not given as much insight into how she thinks and feels as we are into other characters, who may therefore receive the greater share of our sympathy.
Although Cholly does not narrate any part of his story, he endures so much hardship—starting from the moment he is born and discarded by the train tracks—that we cannot help but feel sympathy for him. Claudia is yet another candidate for the most sympathetic character, simply because we experience so much of the story from her point of view and she is the one who helps us makes sense of it all.
Explain how racism functions in the story. Unlike To Kill a Mockingbird, in which an African-American is persecuted by whites simply on the basis of skin color, The Bluest Eye presents a more complicated portrayal of racism. The characters do experience direct oppression, but more routinely they are subject to an internalized set of values that creates its own cycle of victimization within families and the neighborhood.
Racism also affects the characters of the novel in other indirect ways.
The general sense of precariousness of the black community during the Great Depression, in comparison with the relative affluence of the whites in the novel, reminds us of the link between race and class.
More directly, the sexual violation of Pecola is connected to the sexual violation of Cholly by whites who view his loss of virginity as entertainment.Which is a greater threat to the children in The Bluest Eye: racism or sexism?
3. At the end of the novel, Claudia questions her own right or ability to tell the truth about Pecola’s experience. The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison (Born Chloe Anthony Wofford) American novelist, nonfiction writer, essayist, playwright, and children's writer.
The following entry presents criticism on Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye () through For further information on her life and complete works, see CLC, Volumes 4, 10, 22, 87, and Bluest Eye Questions and Answers The Question and Answer sections of our study guides are a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss literature.
Home Bluest Eye Q & A. The Bluest Eye is a novel about racism, and yet there are relatively few instances of the direct oppression of black people by white people in the book.
Explain how racism functions in the story. Explain how racism functions in the story. Write an essay in which you discuss Pecola's dream of happiness and Langston Hughes' poem "Dream Deferred." Is Pecola's wanting the bluest eyes a "dream deferred"?
Discuss Pecola's dream in terms of its worth, compared to the dreams of young Pauline, the dreams of Louis Junior's mother, Geraldine, and the dreams of Soaphead Church.
In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison questions the origin and validity of truths imposed by white standards of beauty.
|Asafetida bags are used to hold||Discuss the narrative structure of the novel.|
|The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison - Essay - ashio-midori.com||Discuss the narrative structure of the novel.|
The white standard of beauty is defined in terms of not being black, so in turn, blacks equate beauty with being white.