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SUMMARY » The Bluest Eye î The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison's first novel a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision Set in the author's girlhood hometown of Lorain Ohio it tells the story of black eleven year old Pecola Breedlove Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond blThe Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison's first novel a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision Set in the author's girlhood hometown of Lorain Ohio it tells the story of black eleven year old Pecola Breedlove Pecola prays for he. Just a few days ago I happened to have a conversation with someone uite a 'well read' person too who said uite casually almost in an offhand manner how he found books written by women 'uninteresting' On prodding him for the reason behind his 'disinterest' he replied that 'books written by women just do not engage' him I didn't have the heart to ask him why a second timeAnd there it sat between us this knowledge of his disdain for women writers for some hitherto unknown reason like a breathing venom spitting invisible monster uietly killing our conversation thankfullyNo evasion Not even a half hearted attempt at rescuing an uncomfortable situation A wholly unabashed flat out declaration made with the confident self righteous air of a reader who knows what good reading should consist of and when it comes to that excludeIn retrospect when I dwell on the memory of this horrendous very real conversation I experience a crushing hopelessness It's not that particular guy I am mad at No He is only a minuscule part of the universal malady afflicting our collective psyche It is this spirited tolerance for continued ignorance and apathy that infuriates me so This tradition of belittling the female voice which speaks of personal sexual gratification love marriage and childbirth of the tyranny of beauty that forces her to adhere desperately to some predetermined standard of physical perfection the right angle to her cheekbones the right slope to her nose the right lushness to her eyelashes the right curve to her hips the right skin color to match her hair and her eyes All of this is terribly uninteresting isn't it It was as though some mysterious all knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear and they had each accepted it without uestion The master had said 'You are ugly people' They had looked about themselves saw nothing to contradict the statement; saw in fact support for it leaning at them from every billboard every movie every glance 'Yes' they had said 'You are right' And they took the ugliness in their hands threw it as a mantle over them and went about the world with it So what if she is a Nobel laureate So what if she created the most haunting poignant and unforgettable elegy to the horrors that American slavery spawned So what if she has crafted an eleven year old ugly and unfortunate Pecola Breedlove with the utmost sincerity So what if she has made her ugly and unfortunate Pecola yearn for a shred of love and dignity in vain till her last days So what if she has tried to shed some light on the unloved the mercilessly trodden upon rejects of a community caught in the vicious trap of fatal self loathing So what if she has thought up a newer way to deconstruct the violence of a sexual crime by removing the convenient 'glamour of shame' routinely heaped on the victim So what if she has tried to bestow humanity even on the ones beyond redemption So what if she has offered a window into a world where a million and one injustices compete for primacy every momentSuch trifling womanly subject matters do not mesh well with the reading tastes of a man After all the Doris Lessings and Elfriede Jelineks Nadine Gordimers and Alice Munros Zora Neale Hurstons and Zadie Smiths the Jhumpa Lahiris and the Banana Yoshimotos the Brontë sisters and Virginia Woolfs writewrote books for only women to read and appreciate 'Women can't paint women can't write'It hurts to know that the Charles Tansleys of the world are alive and well But thankfully we have the Toni Morrisons to restore some balance

Toni Morrison ¹ 1 SUMMARY

R eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond blue eyed children in America In the autumn of 1941 the year the marigolds in the Breedloves' garden do not bloom Pecola's life does change in painful devastating wa. When we finished this book about half the class including me were infuriated at Morrison for humanizing certain characters that caused Pecola to suffer the most Is she saying what they did was okay Is she telling us they weren't to blame and we should feel sorry for them I remember writing my objective and tone neutral in class essay while trying to stifle my own feelings of resentment I know now that the answers to those two uestions were no and no What Morrison wanted us to do was not pardon the terrible acts of her characters or brush them off as simply tragedy but to understand where these characters came from psychologically and what made them the the way they are People are driven by motivations sometimes selfless sometimes self serving and sometimes cruel When I think about this now I'm absolutely floored I don't think any work of fiction has ever taught me this huge a lesson about human nature than this one Morrison is a brilliant writer and this will probably always be one of my favorite novels


The Bluest EyeYsWhat its vivid evocation of the fear and loneliness at the heart of a child's yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment The Bluest Eye remains one of Toni Morrisons's most powerful unforgettable novels and a significant work of American fictio. 455 “Along with the idea of romantic love she was introduced to another physical beauty Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought Both originated in envy thrived in insecurity and ended in disillusion” Toni Morrison The Bluest EyeI have several reading goals for 2019 get some big books off my Want to Read list explore Asian writing and visit authors I have missed along my reading journey One of the most glaring omissions on this list was Toni Morrison So with the advice of my friend Rowena I selected THE BLUEST EYE to right that wrong I am wowed by Morrison's writing talents I wish I'd have ventured to her world soonerTHE BLUEST EYE may well be the saddest book I have ever read Upon finishing this novel I felt like I'd been sucker punched The events that took place in this world were devastating Morrisson's novel is as far from the childhood world Ray Bradbury created in Dandelion Wine as imaginable Both took place in the Midwest in the late 20's early 30's and focus on childhood This is where the similarities endAs painful as this book is to read at times it is a beautifully written novel Morrison is a poet at heartThe story is told by a minor character Claudia a young girl and friend of Pecola’s; her innocence offers a rawness to the story that would have been lost if narrated by Pecola or an older character Morrison brilliantly uses the passing of the seasons to tell this story Each season take place in a different time period and follows a different character in her or his life; we learn the back stories of Pecola's people through this In the final pages of this book we see how all these people make up parts of Pecola’s story Morrison writes of race better than any other writer I can think of She touches not on race in general but writes about various themes regarding race here the central theme being that Pecola’s desire for blue eyes is showing the social context that views blue eyes which in this case is the epitome of whiteness as the standard of beauty Every girl black or white should strive to be like Shirley Temple Morrison also deftly writes on parenting and family dynamics When Claudia faces an unwanted event in her home her parents act swiftly to protect their daughter When a far tragic event happens to Pecola her mother beats and blames her The main theme of THE BLUEST EYE is not simply racism but internalized racism The main characters in Morrison's novel have been conditioned to believe in their own inferiority No one suffers this than Pecola Even members of her own race put her down for being ugly and for the darkness of her skinIn the end Morrison forces us to walk in Pecola's shoes and learn of the painful world she inhabits and she does so brilliantly