The Role Of Feminism In The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison

Better Essays
Toni Morrison, author of The Bluest Eye, reflects the feminist theory throughout the novel. Characters narrate the novel from different point of views to help understand the story of the protagonist, Pecola Breedlove, and the hardships of growing up as a young black girl. The eleven-year-old fails to get help because of the suffering from other characters, which eventually contributes to her fate. The feminist theory is presented by Pecola’s desire to be beautiful, black women resisting dominance from white culture, and the oppression of men.
Pecola’s eagerness to have blue eyes occurs one day as Cholly and Mrs. Breedlove were fighting. She hides under her covers and prays to God to take her away. In her head, she slowly begins to disappear,
…show more content…
They do not have a say in how the white culture dominates their lives, so they pick on each other and attempt to bring down women of economic and social problems. China, Poland, and Miss Marie are three prostitutes in the novel. They play an important role because “these women [hate] men, all men” and make it impossible to be oppressed by them (Morrison 56). These women use their sexuality to have control and express their hate over the “inadequate and weak” because they do not associate sex with romance (Morrison 56). The prostitutes risk expressing their hatred towards men “without shame, apology, or discrimination” by giving other women power (Morrison 56). They lose respect from the women with spotless reputation and begin to lose their self-respect as well. The prostitutes do not have an alternative choice because that is the only way they can make a living, but at least they are not oppressed by men like the other women are. Pecola is very interested in their lifestyle ans does not judge them like everyone else. The prostitutes show a feminist side in which women are willing to risk everything to not be under the oppression of men. The whole purpose of the feminist movement is to stop male oppression and have equal rights. Although, the prostitutes gain a leverage against men, they are criticized by the same gender for the way they obtain the control. Another woman who …show more content…
Cholly “dropped his seeds,” his sperm, “in his own pot of black dirt,” his own daughter (Morrison 6). By introducing Pecola’s suffering, the author makes the reader question who is to blame for her rape throughout the novel. Pecola’s parents could be seen as the ones responsible for their daughter’s suffering. Morrison takes away some of the blame by making the reader consider their difficult upbringing as a possible reason for their neglect. Cholly grew up without either of his parents. At the age of thirteen, he has a traumatic incident with his first sexual experience when two white hunters force Cholly to rape Darlene. Cholly is humiliated and at the end he “[cultivates] his hatred of Darlene” for “not [being] able to protect” her (Morrison 151). The hatred towards Darlene expands to hatred for all women. Cholly’s bad experience is the reason he is seen as an oppressor to his wife and eventually his daughter for not being able to have a real emotional connection with his children. One day, Cholly questions “what could a burn-out black man say to the hunched back of his eleven-year-old daughter” as she washes some dishes (Morrison 161). He is confused by knowing that Pecola loves him and he cannot return the love back. The confusion leads to Cholly raping her. Pecola’s first sexual encounter is taken away by her own father. She never had the time to wrap her head around the

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    His violent tendencies are spurred by his parents’ emotional neglect. In her essay “Holden’s Lousy Childhood: Poor Parenting and the Rise of Postwar Juvenile Delinquency,” Rachel Kirkwood writes “… the couple [relied] on third party institutions such as boarding schools and psychiatrists to raise their child” (2). Holden’s parents are incapable of raising their son so they send him away to boarding schools and psychiatrists. His parents also react in odd ways to him, having “two hemorrhages a piece if I told anything pretty personal about them” (Salinger 1). Holden keeps his feelings bottled up inside because his parents do not allow him to speak his mind without getting defensive.…

    • 1275 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Woolf believes that women uphold the stereotype that women cannot be friends with each other because they would be too jealous in terms of physical appearances and relationships with men. In addition, though, women are portrayed in literature, paintings, and jokes as having a deep hatred for other women. By explicitly stating this claim, Woolf hopes to surprise the reader. She uses tinges of sarcasm to suggest that women do not have to uphold this standard. She aims to diminish this depiction of women and to alter the relationships of women.…

    • 1314 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The author talks about the problems faced by the dalit children. The caste consciousness is forced in the children in their very young age. The upper class boys in the school says “don’t touch Pandu”, they also made fun of his mother by verbally abusing her. The society projects his mother as a prostitute and this brings a misunderstanding between the mother and the son. The women in the community say, “How could a poor widow’s son be allowed to wear new clothes for the festival?”(418) these comments make him feel depressed and he alienated himself from…

    • 815 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Color Purple Analysis

    • 1131 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Pecola suffers from physical problems. Pecola becomes pregnant from being raped by her father. Pecola is too young and weak to care for the baby, eventually leading to her losing the baby. Pecola’s body is way too young to have to experience the weight of being pregnant. Ary Syamanad Tahir writes in his article “Gender Violence in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple,” “The stand of Frieda's father is contrasted with Pecola’s father, how the latter neglected her daughter and even involved in incest.…

    • 1131 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Amber recalls many times her mom leaving the girls home with this man to run errands. What her mother did not know, was this man was molesting her youngest daughter. None of the girls wanted to say anything, for they knew it would break their mothers heart and they feared things would only get worse. This might be where her feelings towards men began. Men in her life were nasty, lying, cheating, and downright horrible.…

    • 1196 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Willy betrays Biff’s trust in him when he slept with another woman and he also betrays the love of his wife, Linda. Willy’s betrayal could possibly stem from his father abandoning him as a child, which is a form of betrayal in its own form. “WILLY (longingly): … Dad left when I was such a baby and I never had a chance to talk to him and I still feel—kind of temporary about myself (pg. 40. Act I).” This communicates the audience that Willy never really got over his father’s betrayal and how that has affected him in his life now, causing him to feel…

    • 1711 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    As GÜNENÇ (172) mentions that these women illustrate how men are cruel to women in patriarchal society, and how they used these women in order to achieve their own goals. GÜNENÇ also states, "Elizabethan society thinks that women are weak, so they should follow what the men tell them and obey the men’s rules". In other words, Elizabethan society decreases the role of woman, and it describes women as dependent to men in all situations. Finally, at the end of the play the two women show their own opinion to get rid of men's authority and prove to their society that women are not dependent on men according to GÜNENÇ states. These women committed suicide, which is against the patriarchal society.…

    • 1143 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    As Atticus states in his closing argument, Mayella, a white woman, broke a social code (fraternization with a black man) and instead of owning up to her feelings and actions, she falsely accused Tom of committing a crime. The real predator whom Mayella should have accused was her father, Bob Ewell. He abused her and her family, and posed a real threat as a harasser in Maycomb. This is evident when Bob harasses Helen Robinson, Tom Robinson’s wife, on her way to work. But Mayella could not stand up to her abusive father or to the town.…

    • 1250 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Gilman could have chose anything that could have hid in the wallpaper but she decided a woman would be best to show that women are confined in themselves because of what the world expects of them. Society wanted women to be child-like and conform to their husbands. Society did not want women to obtain their own identity. Quawas says, “the interpretation of the narrator’s decent into madness as a way to health and wellbeing, as a rejection of and escape from an insane society” (Pg.42). This relates to those who use “women” and “insanity” together because the women are described as rebels whom madness is nothing more than a description that applies to the gender norms in society.…

    • 1165 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Repetition of “s” to describe the condition of the bums puts a huge emphasis on what her father is now going through and her sympathy towards her father. Olds as a young child never saw the whole picture due to her mother 's manipulation. Now she wanders about other people like her father who became a victim of divorce due to their own bad behavior. Olds asks “I wonder who took it and/ took it from them in silence/ until they had given it all away and had nothing/ left but this,”(23-26). Olds 's father’s cruel behavior made everything he valued be taken away and has no one to pity him.…

    • 1852 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays