The Role Of Hatred In The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison

Superior Essays
Different from many other writings of American literature that discuss the periods of deep racism that took place, The Bluest Eye written by Toni Morrison, does not become involved directly with those events, instead, it focuses on exploring the remaining effects of race through self-hatred. Many characters from the novel who are African American are devastated with the cultural and already imposed notions of white perfection to the limit that they hate themselves for not being up to society`s standards. The best character that Morrison utilized to depict these outcomes is Pecola Breedlove, a passive, eleven-year old, black girl whose lack of parental guidance and self-hatred lead her to be absorbed by the imposed notions of beauty. Pecola …show more content…
Is both, the combination of the rejection of her own family and the lack of love that penetrates Pecola with the ideal that her situation will only improve if she becomes beautiful. Morrison is able to express this notion when she writes, “As long as she looked the way she did, she would have to stay with these people” (50). When Pecola realizes her necessity to become beautiful, she tries to develop the principle of white beauty into one of her only goals, thus making her focus on having blue eyes. This wish of blue eyes becomes more than an obsession to Pecola who later attempts to attain her beauty by becoming blind of reality. Using this, the novel points towards a black girl`s desires for white attributes, a girl who wishes blue eyes only because she believes that these will end the cruelty in her life. Morrison`s depiction of racial shame represented in Pecola`s character enables readers to observe the psychological effect of racial inferiority on African American. Using Pecola, Morrison is also enabling readers to comprehend the historical issues that black people faced, white offering revelations of race as a …show more content…
Furthermore, Stuarth claims that media tends to normalize cultural ideals by excluding everyone that is not white. The author claims that, “ Images of white women dominate all media – especially roles or depictions featuring “beautiful” or desirable women,. To think this does have a negative effect on females who rarely see images of their own races depicted in a positive manner is insane” (Stuath 2). This quote, once again, emphasizes the fact that women who are not white spend their time trying to fix their “flaws,” that do not allow them to be up to society`s standards for physical beauty. The same way, Morrison depicts how the principles of imposed beauty notions affect individuals in a community. At the very end, all of the society`s hatred towards Pecola was placed on her, stopping her from expressing her real beauty. Morrison expresses the same idea that Stuarth when she writes, “We were so beautiful when we stood astride her ugliness. Her simplicity decorated us, her guilt sanctified us, her pain made us glow with health, her awkwardness made us think we had a sense of humor” (97). Even when Pecola was passive, her community would try to make themselves feel better by arguing that it was Pecola the one ugly not them. Here, the idea that imposed beauty ideals

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    In the theme of The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison illustrates the destructive nature of whiteness being a scale for acceptance through certain black characters of this novel. The characters that display this destruction are Pecola Breedlove, Geraldine, and Pauline Breedlove. Pecola Breedlove desperately searches for ways of obtaining blue eyes because she believes it is the only way of receiving love and acceptance from her mother and community. Geraldine uses whiteness as a scale of accepting others which causes an emotional disconnect among her family. Pauline Breedlove uses whiteness as a scale for measuring the beauty of people and their importance.…

    • 1436 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye: Racism and Self Worth Ever since the beginning of American history, race has played a role on how people view themselves, whites being the higher value versus blacks. In Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye, Morrison unveils the values of the social community and how white standards affect how African-Americans value themselves. The life of Pecola Breedlove depicts how the social pedestal can make a 12 year old black girl feel unloved, and ultimately corrupt her life at a young age. Morrison also shows the ultimate breakdown of internalized and institutionalized racism, which is huge on how other characters in the novel see their own race and how they see themselves versus others during the time period of the…

    • 1429 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    During the romantic period, society judged women on their beauty, something that they have no control over. This idea of beauty being pushed on to young girls and this made them feel as if beauty was the only thing that’s important, but the romantic period literature was going to change that. As shown in Northanger Abbey and A Vindication of the Rights of Women beauty is displayed as the single most important thing for women and the following of these set beauty standards, which is wrong and degrading to women, this then affects how women are depicted in literature, changing the work’s tone to be satirical, making fun of this idea, or rebellious, in going away from these beauty standards. Instead of degrading women based on their beauty, women…

    • 1054 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Campaign For Real Beauty

    • 960 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Dove does an exceptional job of ridding of the normal, skinny models and using more average women in order to depict raw beauty. Postrel, however, is completely against the campaign and criticizes, “We know beauty when we see it…not every girl is beautiful just the way she is” (Postrel 126). Although Postrel’s claim that societal standards may not particularly highlight ever person as beautify, the harsh words that “not every girl is beautiful” is utterly incorrect. While society certainly chooses the definition of beauty, every person possesses their own unique sense of beauty, whether it be pretty eyes or beautiful hair, beauty is beauty. Dove extended its Real Beauty campaign’s boundaries by successfully empowering older women who are not really seen in many advertisements today.…

    • 960 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Her main problem was that she was a black girl that could pass as a white girl, and that weighed heavy on her. Both Pecola and Peola were born during a time where being black equaled hopelessness. Both of these characters suffer from what Nasser Maleki and Mohammad Javad Haj’jari—authors of “Negrophobia and Anti-Negritude In Morrison’s The Bluest Eye”—would call “negrophobia” and that their “negrophobia not only serves the white race, but also challenges the black’s attempt at survival…” (Maleki & Mohammad, 2015, pg. 81). With this mindset, the girls basically disown their own race which gives the white race exactly what they wanted.…

    • 1861 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She described how white privilege is socialized, as society is built on racism and systems of oppression. Since American society is built on those aspects, racism still exists to this very day. McIntosh mentioned that white people do not recognize their own privilege since it is considered the “norm” and what people of color operate on, as she stated, “many…do not see whiteness as a racial identity.” America has become a diverse country, yet there is a serious underrepresentation of people of color. Although the Nadinola Bleaching Cream ad shows a black woman, it seems impossible to positively depict women of color. Further, when women of color are represented as beauty icons, they almost always already fit white ideals, meaning they already have light skin tones, straight hair, ideal “white” facial features, and so on.…

    • 786 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Pecola; however, was the only who prayed to have blue eyes (Morrison 44). Through these characters’ it was Morrison’s goal to show the life of a child who was “ least likely to withstand such damaging forces because of youth, gender, and race (ii). Morrison had witnessed the damaging effects that white beauty standards had on young black girls. Although her friend had her better fate than Pecola, she still suffered from the negative beliefs placed onto her by these ideas. Thus, in order to contribute to the shift society was making away from white beauty standards, Morrison introduced this text.…

    • 1697 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    For example, the character Pecola have been viewed as nothing but “Ugly” by her society which cause her to have a bad self-evaluation on herself and low self-esteem. In evident, Morrison writes, “If her eyes, those eyes that held the pictures and knew the sights – if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful… That only a miracle could relieve her, she would never know her beauty. She would see only what there was to see: the eyes of other people” (46). This reflects on how Pecola sees herself, her self-esteem is fully in the hands of society for she is only what society thinks of her. She believe in what everybody thinks of her allowing society to dictate her…

    • 1058 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Sabrina Coccia Women Images & Realities 9/22/2015 Reading Analysis #2 Although, most people assume feminism is just about being against ‘the man’, it is more than that. Usually, when individuals think of feminists, they immediately think of white feminists but what about the colored feminists. Colored women have to endure racial based problems more than white women. Colored women have to endure white supremacy oppressing them. In “No Disrespect Black Women and the Burden of Respectability” by Tamara Winfrey Harris and “Ideals and Expectations: Race, Health and Femininity” by Margaret A. Lowe, these writers talk about the ways in which ‘politics of respectability’ is forced upon and the effects on women of color especially on their bodies.…

    • 1031 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Self-Help Lesson

    • 825 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Black women perceptions of themselves have changed because of the things we say to ourselves that we will never say out loud such as: I wish my skin was lighter, I wish my hair was more like a white woman or at least not so course or nappy, or I feel in competition with white women or light skinned women. This is where we show our insecurities. As a culture black women have to learn there worth much more then what society or the media believe we are worth. In lesson 3 we learned that “I am a person with a voice, I am rich in heritage. I am apart of humankind.…

    • 825 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays