The Bluest Eye is the first book written and published by Toni Morrison. The story tells of a teenage black girl( Pecolla) that wishes to look like a white girl. This drive to model the beauty of a white girl drove Pecolla into madness. While Pecolla is only eleven years old,the mindset she that was put upon her by the society that she has lived in. A society that was dominated by the culture of superior white men. Pecolla wants to have the bluest eyes in order to impress her classmates and neighbors. She wants to do it because her both her classmates and neighbors have implanted the idea in her head that she is ugly. There are a couple of themes that can be extracted from this intriguing story.
The first theme that is found in the story The Bluest Eye is the standard of beauty is based off of one’s skin tone. There are other examples outside of the many provided b Pecolla.
The first being the white doll that was gifted to Claudia. Showing that being white is better than being any color that is darker than white. Even in the movies that are watched depict the ideal form of beauty is being white. Another possible idea that us being shared is that not only is it only acceptable to be white, but any skin tone that gives off the appearance of white, such as being a lighter-skin tone of black. Not only was Pecolla shunned by her classmates and neighbors, but also her family and her teachers.
Adult black women in the story even have the twisted idea on their head that, if one does not have the complexion of white then that person is ugly. That only person that is unaffected by this cruel way of thinking is Claudia. She seems to be immune to it because of her young age. However it would be no surprise to anyone if by the time she was in her early teenage years that she will eventually be hypnotized by the experiences that come with her growing up in such a cruel society, into thinking white is right. There is a second underlying theme that connects to the first one that has been presented.
The second theme that is found is that one must look from their own perspective first ,before opening their ears to those around them. This idea is reflected through the main character Pecolla. Pecolla believes that if she looked like the ideal girl/women, she wouldn’t be so heavily affected by the beliefs of all the people around her. Which the reader may find understandable and perhaps be convinced. However, this is not what drove Pecolla to madness . What drove Pecolla to madness is, Pecolla got to busy listening to what everyone had to say. If Pecolla , had found a way to ignore the critics she faced every day, she might have remained sane.
The wishing for blue eyes rather than lighter skin tone may confuse the reader. However it can be interpreted as Pecolla wanting to not only have some form of beauty but also for herself to convince herself that she is beautiful and not ugly. This problem showcases self awareness which is unfortunately a current issue to this day. The Bluest Eye, is not one story, but rather multiple told from different perspectives.
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