The themes of beauty and happiness in the bluest eye a novel by toni morrison

The Dick-and-Jane Narrative The novel opens with a narrative from a Dick-and-Jane reading primer, a narrative that is distorted when Morrison runs its sentences and then its words together. The gap between the idealized, sanitized, upper-middle-class world of Dick and Jane who we assume to be white, though we are never told so and the often dark and ugly world of the novel is emphasized by the chapter headings excerpted from the primer. But Morrison does not mean for us to think that the Dick-and-Jane world is better—in fact, it is largely because the black characters have internalized white Dick-and-Jane values that they are unhappy.

The themes of beauty and happiness in the bluest eye a novel by toni morrison

Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. Whiteness as the Standard of Beauty The Bluest Eye provides an extended depiction of the ways in which internalized white beauty standards deform the lives of black girls and women.

Adult women, having learned to hate the blackness of their own bodies, take this hatred out on their children—Mrs.

SparkNotes: The Bluest Eye: Symbols

But it is hinted that once Claudia reaches adolescence, she too will learn to hate herself, as if racial self-loathing were a necessary part of maturation. The person who suffers most from white beauty standards is, of course, Pecola.

She connects beauty with being loved and believes that if she possesses blue eyes, the cruelty in her life will be replaced by affection and respect. This hopeless desire leads ultimately to madness, suggesting that the fulfillment of the wish for white beauty may be even more tragic than the wish impulse itself.

If she had beautiful blue eyes, Pecola imagines, people would not want to do ugly things in front of her or to her. In a more basic sense, Pecola and her family are mistreated in part because they happen to have black skin.

The themes of beauty and happiness in the bluest eye a novel by toni morrison

By wishing for blue eyes rather than lighter skin, Pecola indicates that she wishes to see things differently as much as she wishes to be seen differently. She can only receive this wish, in effect, by blinding herself.

Pecola is then able to see herself as beautiful, but only at the cost of her ability to see accurately both herself and the world around her. The connection between how one is seen and what one sees has a uniquely tragic outcome for her.

The Power of Stories The Bluest Eye is not one story, but multiple, sometimes contradictory, interlocking stories. Characters tell stories to make sense of their lives, and these stories have tremendous power for both good and evil. Finally, Claudia resists the premise of white superiority, writing her own story about the beauty of blackness.

Stories by other characters are often destructive to themselves and others. The story Pauline Breedlove tells herself about her own ugliness reinforces her self-hatred, and the story she tells herself about her own martyrdom reinforces her cruelty toward her family.

Stories are as likely to distort the truth as they are to reveal it.

See a Problem?

While Morrison apparently believes that stories can be redeeming, she is no blind optimist and refuses to let us rest comfortably in any one version of what happens. Sexual Initiation and Abuse To a large degree, The Bluest Eye is about both the pleasures and the perils of sexual initiation.

Frieda knows about and anticipates menstruating, and she is initiated into sexual experience when she is fondled by Henry Washington.'The Bluest Eye' was Toni Morrison's first novel that takes place in the 's and is set in the author's girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio.

This story is about a young girl named Pecola Breedlove who is about 11 years old and would give anything to have the bluest eyes. A summary of Symbols in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye.

Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Bluest Eye and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.

SYMBOLS/ MOTIFS: the bluest eye- To Pecola, blues eyes just seem to symbolize beauty that she doesn't have, and that the whole community associates with leslutinsduphoenix.coms the end, the blue eyes represent Pecola's blindness, or ignorance as it were, and the dissipation of her sanity as a result of her obsession with the necessity of obtaining blue eyes, and thus beauty.

In the novel “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, the audience is provided with different interactions between white and black characters that gives the interpretation of whiteness as the standard of beauty, which distorts the lives of black characters through messages everywhere that whiteness is superior and equal to cleanliness.

A summary of Motifs in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye.

The Bluest Eye:THEMES - THEME ANALYSIS / STUDY QUESTIONS - BOOK REPORT IDEAS by Toni Morrison

Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Bluest Eye and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.

Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child—the first novel by Toni Morrison to be set in our current moment—weaves a tale about the way the sufferings of childhood can shape, and misshape, the life of the adult. Spare and unsparing, God Help the Child is a searing tale about the way childhood.

SparkNotes: The Bluest Eye: Symbols