Free «Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye» Essay Sample

Claudia and Frieda’s belief in mysterious, magical powers capable of modifying current situations leads them into efforts to manipulate Pecola’s future by suitably planting marigolds. Their hope is in the offering that Pecola gives to the dog in order to predetermine and assure a healthy future for herself. There are no successful conclusions in the novel “The Bluest Eye” as there usually are in several fairy tales.

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Pecola goes mad because of the breakdown with the Breedlove family. The novel elaborately exposes harsh conditions of African-Americans in the 1940’s. Pauline is cruel to her family since she views them as a setting that disallows her to measure up to the white man’s world. Pecola’s mother Pauline is distant and least cares about her, and Cholly Breedlove, Pecola's father is not different as he is an unreliable drunkard incapable of providing any support and consolation for the daughter. He ends up impregnating his own daughter who gives birth only for the child to die moments later (Morrison 46).

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Pecola yearns to be seen as beautiful, therefore longs for getting blue eyes. After a visit to spiritualist, Pecola is deceived to imagine she has the bluest eyes in the universe and would be loved by everyone. Pecola’s parents make love in the presence of their two children. This makes her imagine and believe that if the eyes were blue she would actually choose what to see and what not to see. She only finds refuge near the prostitutes living upstairs as they treat her affectionately (Morrison 69).

Attention shifts from a minor to a major Claudia. It commences with the arrival of Mr. Washington who came to live with Mac Teers. Pecola is also living here as her father had not paid rent for their house and had been jailed. Pecola and Shirley love Shirley Temple while on the contrary Claudia likes neither Shirley nor the white dolls with big blue eyes she received as Christmas gifts each year. The text describes Breedslove’s family apartment and its dilapidated interior conditions. The family members are described as ugly and they were worth it. Claudia and Frieda persevere the winter until a visitor named Maureen comes around to their school.

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Pecola is the representation of negativity of her community that does not appreciate itself. She is a symbol of poverty from which they are constantly trying to escape from or keep distance from but all their attempts are in vain, thus they remain lodged in it. She represents the desire of knowing another person and separating herself from the truth. The alienation of self as depicted by Pecola occurs because of racial oppression. That causes Pecola’s mother to continually whine and complain over small, insignificant issues. For instance, she really complains when Pecola drinks all the milk until eventually she starts singing. Soaphead in her letter to God tries to clear her mind of the various wrongs she had committed.

Pecola actually tells to her other self about a second instance of rape that happened while she was reading on the couch (Morrison 189). This is symbolically used to illustrate that when a black person tries to learn how to read, he or she imbibes the aesthetics of being white. This was the bringing of poison that destroyed Pecola’s mother and herself because of their desire to have blue eyes.

Morrison is trying to encourage the emergence of a new breed of readers who have some sense of self-respect and oral tradition with an illiterate meaning. The person should not be having a formed mind already set or an imaginative view capable of failing him or her from learning the many lessons woven in her novel. To Morrison, reading and writing are vexed activities equivalent to being a rape victim. The novel is trying to reach out to people and do what Cholly did to Pecola. 

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