Racism in the Bluest Eye Essay

751 Words Mar 13th, 2012 4 Pages
Racism in “The Bluest Eye”

Several examples of racism are encompassed in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Characters who are members of the black community are forced to accept their status as the “others”, or “outsiders”, which has been imposed on them by the white community. In turn, blacks assign this status to other individuals within the lighter-skinned black community. In this novel, characters begin to internalize the racism presented by these people, and feel inferior. The stereotype torments them mentally, and in some cases, to the point of insanity.
The character most affected by racism is Pecola Breedlove. Pecola Breedlove’s character is defined by several different types of racism. It is present in her family, especially
…show more content…
It was their contempt for their own blackness that gave the first insult its teeth.” Another instance in which Pecola is racially abused is when she goes to play at Geraldine’s son’s house. They are another black family in the community of Lorain, Ohio. The black boy accidentally kills his cat and blames it on young Pecola. Geraldine comes home and discovers what has allegedly happened, and takes out her anger on Pecola, “You nasty little black bitch. Get out of my house...” Geraldine also has internalized racism that she has faced, and hates Pecola because of it. This strengthens Pecola’s belief that she is ugly, and her desire for the blue eyes of a white person.
Pecola further experiences racism in her family life. Pecola’s mother, Pauline Breedlove, works as a service woman for a white family. One day, Pecola goes to work with her mother to assist her, and accidentally knocks a pie onto the kitchen floor. The white girl that Mrs. Breedlove cares for noted the incident and cried. Because of this, Mrs. Breedlove yells at Pecola, “Crazy fool… my floor, mess… look what you…” At the same time, she comforts the little white girl. To her, she says, “Hush. Don’t worry none.” Not only does Pecola have to deal with racism from her peers, but from her own flesh and blood, her mother. Other characters are involved in similar racial conflicts like Pecola’s, such as Louis Jr., Soaphead Church, Pauline, and Cholly. Each black character internalizes these

Related Documents