The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison: The Impact Of Our View Of Ourselves On Our Life

March 13, 2022 by Essay Writer

A woman who faces cruelty and suffering racial abuse tries to overcome herself. Morrison shows us a girl’s point of view, and the struggles she faces throughout the book such as the two hurtful rapes. Her name is Pecola she is a young eleven-year-old African American girl. During her childhood she grows up during the years of the Great Depression. The story reveals that just because her trait of being dark skin, she is consistently viewed as ‘ugly’. The main issue which is shown in The Bluest Eye is racism, but more important issues lie throughout the novel. Her goal in the novel is to get out from the world, where she cannot be beautiful. She is self conscious of her appearance and her objective is to get the blue eyes she’s been wanting, what she’s been wishing from the beginning of the novel. This seems to be a worldwide problem, not just on her eye color but on skin color and on appearance. As human beings, we are never satisfied by the way we look. We always want to be better and look better than others. Morrison describes a heavy topic throughout the book, how whiteness is the standard of beauty. This is a sad impactful quote, which shows racism. Half way into the book Geraldine has a child named Junior, who is raised perfectly. Junior loves to play on the playground at school and most of the time is aggressive with other kids. Geraldine tells his son Junior to only play with the upper class children, and to not play with the lower class which in this case are black children. “His mother did not like him to play with niggers. She had explained to him the difference between colored people and niggers. They were easily identifiable. Colored people were neat and quiet; niggers were dirty and loud”. Pecola suffers internally, and her goal is to have blue colored eyes so people would view her differently. White beauty standards damages the lives of certain black girls and women. This book demonstrates that whiteness is superior. I find this to be racist, I disagree I say that there is no race that is more superior than some other race, they are all equally the same. In our everyday lives, we hear many stereotypes that are usually negative. Most human beings we judge each other so quickly. For example, such as on appearance, he/she dresses in designer clothes. He/she must be coming from a higher ranking family and is superior than others. I read an article by CBC and this woman named Nell says “At least, there’s no scientific basis for race.

Human DNA is about 99.9 percent the same across the full spectrum of skin colour and ethnicity”. So this is scientifically proven that there is no such thing as a certain race being better than another. An example Toni Morrison shows us is with the white baby doll given to Claudia, which like the idealization of Shirley Temple, shows that light skinned dolls are viewed cuter than the black ones by society. During one of our class periods, we watched ‘Doll Test’ on youtube. While watching this video I found certain comparisons to The Bluest Eye. The young students were given a sum of questions, and were needed to answer faithfully. They were given a black and white doll. They questioned the children of different ethnicities the question, “which doll is the nice doll and which doll is the bad doll?”About 71% of the innocent children selected the white doll to be nicer. But the children were questioned for their reason for their response. Most of them responded that the white doll is more nicer because they look more “beautiful” and are lighter skinned and have blue eyes. This is the exact reason Pecola suffers throughout the book, because of her skin tone. Towards the beginning of the book, Pecola’s friend Frieda. Her mother, was questioning, “What the devil does anybody need with three quarts of milk?. Pecola drank an immense amount of milk, because milk is a white substance, which is a symbol of her wanting to embody whiteness. This shows that Pecola is eagered and persistent to be lighter skinned. She and her parents suffered through racial preference as well. Her mother Breedlove suffered as a child by stepping on a rusty nail leading to limp everytime she walks, she as well was bullied. Her father Cholly, suffered his death of his mother. Cholly wasn’t raised well. And as an adult being married to Pauline he’s constantly drunk and even raped her own daughter Pecola. She was secret about it she didn’t talk about it to anyone, this shows oppression in a girls life. I think this had a really big impact towards Pecola’s life.

Morrison tells us what Pecola’s dream is, which she explains in this quote, “A little black girl who wanted to rise up out of the pit of her blackness and see the world with blue eyes”. Pecola believes that if she were to own blue eyes, that the cruelty in her life would be replaced by affection, respect, and love. During chapter 11 Pecola is offered a deal by Soaphead to get blue eyes. But in order to get what she wants she has to exchange something in return. Pecola is desired to get the blue eyes, so she accepts Soaphead offer. Soaphead has hatred towards her friends dog so he says to Pecola to give the dog a piece of meat that he had but poison on, and tells her if the dog reacts she will be granted with her blue colored eyes. Minutes later Pecola starts to see that the dog began to limp and throw up. Pecola notices that the dog started to react, and believes that her wish came true. Pecola wont literally have colored eyes, she will just believe she does. Now with her ‘blue’ eyes she feels beautiful and is happy and now ‘she believes she fits in with society’. With her blue eyes she now believes she will find social acceptance. I was reading an article online by YouGov and they talked about people’s eye color. I found this sentence to be impactful towards The Bluest Eye it went like this, “But while attractiveness is a plausible hypothesis for the rise of the blue iris, it has only been conjecture that blue is actually the most appealing eye color”. This is the same mindset Pecola has, she thinks that it will change her whole life around and make her look more appealing which would led for her to not be self conscious on the way she looks. Pecola’s main reason in the book is to have blue eyes so she could be “beautiful”. I read this article by Mental Floss and it stated, “95% of ads use models that have light eyes”. I find this heartbroken, how color of skin or color of eyes could affect a person eternally.


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