A literary analysis of racism in the bluest eye

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.

The Bluest Eye

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.

Pecola is the most obvious candidate for our sympathy, because she undergoes a shocking amount of abuse. In addition to narrative structure, the structure and composition of the novel itself help to illustrate how much and for how long white ideas of family and home have been forced into black culture.

American society tells Pecola happy, white, middle-class families are better than hopeless, black, working-class families. For further information on her life and complete works, see CLC, Volumes 4, 10, 22, 87, and The rest of The Bluest Eye divides into four separate time sequences, each named for a season of the year and each narrated by Claudia.

This family consists of the mother Pauline, the father Cholly, the son Sammy, and A literary analysis of racism in the bluest eye daughter Pecola.

As a result, they turn on their own — just as the boys turn on Pecola. Cholly and Junior are prime examples. For the most part, the blacks in this novel have blindly accepted white domination and have therefore given expensive white dolls to their black daughters at Christmas.

Ugliness Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Bluest Eye, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. The MacTeer girls are flattered when Mr.

I gave her the eyes. Home and Family Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Bluest Eye, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Because he has been so depreciated by white society, he is reduced to breeding with his own daughter, a union so debased that it produces a stillborn child, one who cannot survive for even an hour in this world where self-hatred breeds still more self-hatred. At the same time, every African American character hates in various degrees anything associated with their own race, blindly accepting the media-sponsored belief that they are ugly and unlovable, particularly in the appalling absence of black cultural standards of beauty.

Which narrative point of view do you think is most central to the novel and why? 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.

Narration in novel comes from several sources. Standing midway between the white and black worlds is the exotic Maureen Peal, whose braids are described as "two lynch ropes.

The topic of child abuse, once a socially unmentionable subject, remained unaddressed far too long even though everyone knew about it.

The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison - Essay

Breedlove spends her days at the movies admiring the white actresses, wishing she could access their world. Her blackness forces the boys to face their own blackness, and thus they make Pecola the scapegoat for their own ignorance, for their own self-hatred, and for their own feelings of hopelessness.

Unlike typical portrayals of racism, involving white hatred against blacks, The Bluest Eye primarily explores the issue of racism occurring between people of color. Likewise, Soaphead Church uses his white heritage, place of origin, and educational background to define his "whiteness".

When Cholly rapes Pecola, it is a physical manifestation of the social, psychological, and personal violence that has raped Cholly for years. Morrison speaks to the masses, both white and black, showing how a racist social system wears down the minds and souls of people, how dominate images of white heroes and heroines with blue eyes and wonderful lives show young black children that to be white means to be successful and happy, and then they look around at their own lives of poverty and oppression and learn to hate their black heritage for keeping them from the Dick and Jane world.

The characters are constantly subjected to images of whiteness offered through movies, books, candy, magazines, toys, and advertisements. Morrison also uses metaphors to describe the conditions under which African-Americans in general and Pecola in particular are forced to live.

Critical Reception Regarded by modern literary critics as perhaps one of the first contemporary female bildungsroman, or coming-of-age narratives, The Bluest Eye initially received modest reviews upon its publication in 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.

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.

Instead of conventional chapters and sections, The Bluest Eye is broken up into seasons, fall, winter, spring, and summer. Names play an important part in The Bluest Eye because they are often symbolic of conditions in society or in the context of the story. Characters lacking any marker of "Whiteness" suffer the most.

Morrison is able to use her critical eye to reveal to the reader the evil that is caused by a society that is indoctrinated by the inherent goodness and beauty of whiteness and the ugliness of blackness. One would never know that black people existed in this country.

At the same time, she is comparatively more confident and secure than Pecola, so she can articulate things that Pecola cannot. The association between beauty and… Women and Femininity At its core, The Bluest Eye is a story about the oppression of women.The Bluest Eye Analysis Literary Devices in The Bluest Eye.

Toni Morisson’s The Bluest Eye: Summary & Analysis

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory. Blue eyes seem to symbolize the cultural beauty and cachet attributed to whiteness in America. Different characters respond to blue eyes in different ways. Claudia, for example, resents the blue ey. While its historical context is clear, the literary context of The Bluest Eye is more complex.

Faulkner and Woolf, whose work Morrison knew well, influenced her style. She uses the modernist techniques of stream-of-consciousness, multiple perspectives, and. The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison - Essay Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye.” In Literature and Theology at Century's End societies with Morrison's exploration of American racism in The Bluest.

In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison tells the story of a young African American, Pecola, and the social struggles of the time period, including the difficulties of growing up as a young black woman in the s.

December 12, A6 Krygier The Bluest Eye The Bluest Eye is a tragic story about a young girl black girl, named Pecola. Pecola’s life is told from the point of views of herself, Claudia, and an omniscient narrator. Throughout The Bluest Eye, Pecola is told she is ugly from a very young age.

The Bluest Eye is a harsh warning about the old consciousness of black folks' attempts to emulate the slave master.

Pecola's request is not for more money or a better house or even for more sensible parents; her request is for blue eyes — something that, even if she had been able to acquire them, would not have abated the harshness of her abject reality.

A literary analysis of racism in the bluest eye
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