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The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison - Book Report/Review Example

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The first chapter of Tony Morrison's The Bluest Eyes, elucidates the plethora of helplessness and vulnerability that a marginalized child faces. It beautifully looks into the paradigm of a child universe and recounts its latent horrors and insecurities. By projecting on the subject position of disjunctive narrative, Morrison charts out the map by virtue of which she would be able to project her concern of Diaspora and marginalisation of African-American population…
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The Bluest Eyes by Toni Morrison
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, when Pecola asks Frieda "How do you get someone to love you", the author is able to reflect upon the discourse of a system that has been able to infuse upon a generation the distinction between the master and the slave class. The subtle use of racism re-emerges in the form of the cultural icon of "Shirley Temple". Interestingly, when Morrison lets Claudia say that, unlike Frieda, her maturity and her psychological "development" has not reached a place where her hatred of the cultural icon, Shirley Temple and the dolls will metamorphose into love, the laconic irony is explicit. Claudia misconstrues the idea of beauty and fails to see that beauty, too is a cultural paradigm, a facet of canonisation and belonging to the canon. Morrison iterates that the naive Claudia has become a function of a society that has subconsciously accepted the ideological apparatus of racial supremacy: the fact that the white is superior to the 'other' 1in Edward Said's sense of the term. Thus, her exploration of the doll in order to find it's "inner beauty" is but a sub-conscious adheration to the white man 's sense of beauty.
The novel iterates an extended understanding of the manners in which the discourse of white beauty plays havoc with the lives of black girls and women. Starting from the tearing of the doll episode in the first chapter, the novel abounds in implicit messages of white superiority: the general consensus that the fair-skinned Maureen is better than the other black girls and Pauline Breedlove's preference for the little white girl she works for over her daughter.
Again, we find the images of adult black women, who have learned to despise their own blackness of their own bodies and thus shown as instruments suffering from a tremendous loss of self-identity. Thus, Mrs. Breedlove believes in the ideology that Pecola is ugly and even the fair Geraldine in shown to throw tantrums at Pecola's blackness. Interestingly, though Claudia remains free from this white adulation, she thinks of Pecola's yet to be born child as being beautiful in its blackness, once Claudia reaches adolescence, she has to adhere to the discourse of self loathing, as if it were a significant process for her to attain maturity.
This shame of racial self-hatred, almost to the degree of self-annihilation, is tragically portrayed in the life of Pecola. The bench mark of white beauty makes her see whiteness as the ingredient necessary for being loved and this leads her to believe that if she possesses blue eyes, her tediously cruel life would be transformed by one of love, adoration and respect. That Morrison shows that it is this obsessive desire on the part of Pecola, that ultimately leads to her to loose her mental sanity, makes the issue of her representation more problematized. Morrison indicates how the discourse of power had reduced the faculties of the colonised's faculties to an ad absurdum, but also how it had played havoc with their sense of identity. Thus, the lines:
It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that 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, she herself would be different.2
; that starts Pecola's desire for blue eyes, illustrates the complexity that domains the issue of marginal ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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