Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.
the bluest eye
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A Study Guide for Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye," excerpted from Gale's acclaimed Novels for Students.This concise study guide includes plot summary; character analysis; author biography; study questions; historical context; suggestions for further reading; and much more. For any literature project, trust Novels for Students for all of your research needs.
First published in 1970 by Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, the novel tells the story of 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove, the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.
The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. CliffsNotes on The Bluest Eye & Sula covers two of Toni Morrison’s unforgettable novels. The Bluest Eye, Morrison’s first novel, focuses on Pecola Breedlove, a lonely, young black girl living in Ohio in the late 1940s. Through Pecola, Morrison exposes the power and cruelty of white, middle-class American definitions of beauty. Sula, Morrison’s second novel, focuses on a young black girl named Sula, who matures into a strong and determined woman in the face of adversity and the distrust, even hatred, of her by the black community in which she lives. Morrison delves into the strong female relationships and how these bonds nurture and threaten individual identity. This study guide will take you beneath the surface of Morrison’s complex characters to uncover their universal themes. Helpful background information about the author brings these novels into context for even greater understanding. Other features that help you study include Complete character lists A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters Character analyses of major players Glossary of difficult terms Critical essays Review questions and essay topics Classic literature or modern-day treasure—you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
Toni Morrison, the eighth American to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, is perhaps the most formally sophisticated novelist in the history of African-American literature. Astutely, she describes aspects of human lives and, unlike many other writers, reveals the hope and beauty that underlines the worlds ugliness. Her artistic excellence lies in achieving a perfect balance between black literature and writing abouth the universally truth. Although firmly grounded in the cultural heritage and social concerns of black Americans, her work transcends narrowly prescribed conceptions of ethnic literature, exhibiting universal mythical patterns and overtones. Her novels, thus, mourn on universal concerns. The endeavor in this study is to scrutinize the unspoken lexis of Toni Morrison’s works and to unveil the layers of humanistic concerns that provide denotations to her words. Earlier studies on this writer have concentrated on adjudging her as a writer addressing problems of black people. However, this book tries to extend this notion to encompass the problems of whole human community by assimilating blacks in the general drama of life. Before dyeing the strings of Morrison’s novels with the colour of humanist concerns, this book delineates the term ‘Humanism’ from which these humanistic concerns arise.
Examination Thesis from the year 2009 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Koblenz-Landau (Anglistik), language: English, abstract: Throughout history, the highly contested concepts of race and gender have adversely shaped the lives of millions of people. In the United States it is most notably Native Africans and African Americans who have been victimized on the grounds of their skin color. Women of African descent have suffered a double jeopardy due to the intersection of race and gender. For a great many of African Americans, men and women alike, literature has become an “important vehicle to represent the social context, to expose inequality, racism and social injustice.” In The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison explores the issue of African American female identity. The female Bildungsroman scrutinizes the problem of growing up black and female in a society which equates beauty with blue-eyed whiteness. Consumer goods, the media, adult approval and a dismissive attitude towards her mislead the protagonist Pecola Breedlove to internalize white beauty standards. With the story of Pecola, Morrison points out how the internalization leads to racial self-loathing and eventually to self-destruction. Nonetheless, the negative tone of The Bluest Eye is in part counteracted through Claudia MacTeer, whose narrative is juxtaposed to Pecola’s anti-Bildung and thus turns the novel into a double Bildungsroman with one girl “growing up” and the other one “growing down.” The following thesis will focus on the issues of race and gender in The Bluest Eye. The topic can be considered of particular relevance as it addresses a theme which remained unexamined until the 1970s, a theme which many have not wanted to know about and which others have been in denial about. Morrison, though, faces the truth about the intersection of race and gender by exploring in her novel how racism and sexism function, as well as the devastating consequences that can occur. Her debut further underlines that the search for culprits is complicated since the perpetrators in the crimes against Pecola are often victims themselves. [...]
Seminar paper from the year 2009 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: 2,3, University of Wuppertal, language: English, abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to show the destruction of identity in The Bluest Eye. In order to find out how far Toni Morrison digests her own experiences in her first piece of work, it is important to have a closer insight into her biography. First of all, I will provide the reader with some basic information about the author and genesis of the work in order to find out how far Toni Morrison dwells on her past. It is necessary to reflect on the underlying reasons why Toni Morrison started writing The Bluest Eye, as her motivation reveals the emotional attachment she has to her work. Hence, The Bluest Eye is introduced. The primer depicts the main aspects around the Bluest Eye and how it deals with identity formation and the tremendous problem with the context of beauty. Subsequently, I will give a definition of social identity to lay the foundation and back my argumentation. In this context, the concept of beauty plays a major role. I will illustrate the difficult situation of black people in a dominant white culture and how some black characters in The Bluest Eye are developed as a result of this. After that, I will present a sociological view of this problem and describe how Morrison’s characters developed their identities by classifying them into categories. In my conclusion, I will discuss the main character’s identities and highlight the differences between the MacTeers and the Breedloves.
Essay from the year 2013 in the subject American Studies - Literature, University of Nottingham (School of Canadian and American Studies), course: American studies, language: English, abstract: Racism and sexism are endemic to the stereotypical “othering” enterprise that brackets black female subjectivity in a forced homogeneity. Doubly stereotyped as the racial and sexual “other”, black women risk being forced to signify the negative counterpart in a binary system of cultural and political representation. Usually white and male, the defining subject associates negatively inflected traits with the defined “other” — in this context a black female — while reserving positive attributes for its own definition and identification. In recasting black women’s subjectivity in fiction, Morrison admits the existence of racial and sexual stereotypes. From her first published novel, "The Bluest Eye", Morrison challenges and deconstructs the double plight of black women in the U.S. by exposing, first, the processes involved in racial and gendered “othering” and, second, the consequent internalised effects that transmute into “self-othering.”
Seminar paper from the year 2017 in the subject American Studies - Literature, , language: English, abstract: The focus of this paper is the narrative mechanism of employing a paragraph of "Dick and Jane" Reader, which was popular in children schools in 1940s in the American United States. It educates children how to read and they hear it from the very beginning of their lives. Through such an educational system, the white dominant culture exerts its authority in oppressing black people. In her novel "The Bluest Eye", the African-American writer Toni Morrison cuts an expert of "Dick and Jane" narrative and uses it as a prologue. She repeats the paragraph three times which are highly different from each other, then dismembers it into pieces that appear as headings to some chapters of the novel. The study reveals the aesthetic purpose beyond such reproducing and dismembering of "Dick and Jane" narrative. Morrison sends a message of moral content to blacks as well as whites: On the one hand, blacks, particularly those who immersed in the white ideology, have to wake up and realize the value of their culture, heritage and language in protecting their black identity. On the other hand, whites should respect and admit the cultural and humane existence of the other and realize the merit of the black culture.