⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Effects Of Motherhood In Toni Morrisons The Bluest Eye
Instead, it's chaotic, jumbled, hard to understand, confusing, difficult, unexpected, unreliable, disappointing. The novel breaks down into seasons, starting The Effects Of Motherhood In Toni Morrisons The Bluest Eye Autumn, and is narrated by a neighbor girl and The Effects Of Motherhood In Toni Morrisons The Bluest Eye sister. The Effects Of Motherhood In Toni Morrisons The Bluest Eye prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she does soul exist be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. I can bring happiness in your life. After eating the grapes, The Effects Of Motherhood In Toni Morrisons The Bluest Eye and Suky return to the gathering, leaving Cholly and The Effects Of Motherhood In Toni Morrisons The Bluest Eye alone. Her hair, her eyes, her countenance, Reflection On Culture And Society life, would never be considered more than an in Pecola.
Why should you read Toni Morrison’s “Beloved”? - Yen Pham
I love beautiful prose and stories with serious topics, but I didn't like this one one bit. I had a very hard time getting through the mere pages of "The Bluest Eye". The two stars are given because of the glimpses of beautiful prose and the ever-important topics that this book deals with, but all in all I can't say that this was a great reading experience. Sure, why not start with that.
But they are only three of the gorgeous characters that populate this gorgeous book. This was my first Toni Morrison--it was Toni Morrison's first Toni Morrison--and since she continued writing I will continue reading what she wrote. I initially struggled with this book because I had Pecola in my mind as the protagonist I officially I hate back cover China, Poland and Miss Marie also known as The Maginot Line are surely three of the finest whores in literature. I initially struggled with this book because I had Pecola in my mind as the protagonist I officially I hate back cover book summaries and the narrative seemed to stray quite a bit, encompassing an entire family, an entire community in Lorain, Ohio, and beyond.
May 21, Paul Bryant rated it really liked it Shelves: novels. Is this a case of mybookshelvestoowhite? So I thought that might be a little bit lazy, a little bit complacent, and decided to start fixing that with Toni Morrison. It was a good start. This is a tough minded short novel. It contains several scenes of nasty sex including rape.
She has a red dress. She wants to play. Who will play with Jane? See the cat. It goes meow-meow. See Father. He is big and strong. Father, will you play with Jane? And so on. So, you know, The Bluest Eye is not a happy story. Some will say -another tale of African American woe. And it is, it is. But there was one line which cracked me up. A spiritualist healer type named Soaphead Church gets a visit from a little black girl who asks him to change her eyes from brown to blue. Because blue is beautiful and brown is ugly. He gets mad and sits down to write a formal letter to God. This is how he starts : Dear God The purpose of this letter is to familiarize you with facts which either have escaped your notice, or which you have chosen to ignore.
How often I have mentally composed such a letter myself! But never found an appropriate postbox. They say : If you are overcome with trouble and conditions that are not natural, I can remove them; overcome Spells, Bad Luck, and Evil Influences. Satisfaction in one visit. I can tell you why. I will tell you who your enemies and friends are, and if the one you love is true or false. If you are sick, I can show you the way to health. I locate lost and stolen articles. Satisfaction guaranteed. So that is what they were doing in in a small town in Ohio. I can bring happiness in your life. I can remove black magic, Bad Luck from your life. Sh Abdul Rehman can also advice you in all your problems which prove to be difficult, Business Difficulties, Love, Marriage or Relations Problems, or your Loved One has left you or Separated from you without giving any reason.
I can help you to bring back happiness in your life. May 29, Sabra rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in I just read this today, and the rating system really doesn't apply to my feelings, which are still fresh, on this book : "I like it" "I really liked it", etc. I have NO idea how to rate this book. I didn't like the book. As the author herself states in the afterward, " Though som I just read this today, and the rating system really doesn't apply to my feelings, which are still fresh, on this book : "I like it" "I really liked it", etc.
Though some of the varying voices that tell their stories don't flow as well in telling their story, the character development is really amazing. The point of view through innocence in the girls makes the horrors and injustices all the more This book evoked strong emotions in me, which, according to the author, was the point. She did that job well. I feel a strong sense of loss, disgust, revoltion, sadness, and frustration at not knowing how to "fix" things. So how do you rate that? View all 7 comments. Sep 04, KB rated it did not like it Shelves: in-your-local-trash-bin. This is going to be a very; very long critical review of a so-called 'African American classic' So there you have been warned I had just finished reading the memoir "Black Boy" by Richard Wright which has turned into my favorite most relatable black memoirs of all time.
This was given to me by a close relative who loves reading too. Every other black person I've seen especially the consci This is going to be a very; very long critical review of a so-called 'African American classic' Every other black person I've seen especially the conscious brand tells me this is a "African American classic". I just don't see it, at all I do not want to write a mean review because if I were to be the author of this book, I would much prefer constructive criticism and not just 'hating'. To the author's credit, she's very good at getting her audience's attention even from the very first chapter, and she knows how to turn anything she creates into poetry. She has a very good way with words and making her writing sounds sophisticated and artistic.
So those are her pointers. Now to to the critical bits Problem 1: It feels Toni's method to gaining reader's attention, is being unnecessarily and forcibly lewd, pornographic, and perverted. There wasn't any need to describe Mr. The readers didn't need to know that he had nibbled the nipples or "tits" as Toni vulgarly described of prepubescent girls, and 'played with their vulvas while they were eating ice-cream'. We get it, he likes little girls. If you want to create a child molester, you can talk about his lusts for children, and only notify the readers that he has indeed had encounters, but you do not have to turn your novel into erotica for pedophiles.
It makes the readers question where your mind is. It was like a party. But the tenderness would not hold. The tightness of her vagina was more than he could bear. His soul seemed to slip down his guts and fly out into her, and the gigantic thrust he made into her then provoked the only sound she made. Removing himself from her was so painful to him he cut it short and snatched his genitals out of the dry harbor of her vagina.
She appeared to have fainted" Really? What is this? Is Toni trying to make us cringe? Does she honestly believe this a appropriate description of a child being raped by her father? The long-winded sex description between Mr. Cholly and Pauline was also unnecessary, but it would have been forgivable it hadn't been for this line: "I knew he wanted for me to come first.. To make it worse, no one referred to orgasming as "coming" in the early 19th century.
Seriously, Toni Re-explaining the situation with Cholly being caught having sex with his cousin's friend, while whites stood watching and telling him "give it to her harder", was pointless. Toni had already summarized how this had happened earlier in the book. Additionally, what was the significance spending an entire page and a half explaining how a unimportant side character had never experienced a organism, when this character only role in the protagonist's life is warding her away and calling her a "bitch" for 'killing' her pet? It seemed throughout all of the book Toni went into the most detail explaining the sex between the characters, and priests "nibbling on the nipples of little girls", more than the actual development of these characters.
No offense to her, but they aren't relatable , interesting, or believable. They're blank slates in strange sexual situations, none more. None of them had their own personalities, or their own faces. Problem 2: The way Toni rationalizes her characters' behavior doesn't make sense on any logical basis, whatsoever. This makes her story seem very fake, forced and unbelievable A great example of how unbelievable and irrational the motives of her characters are is Cholly's backstory on why he ended up molesting his daughter.
Cholly has issues with his broken family and was disowned by his father like millions of people around the world and somehow is so socially inept that he can't love his daughter without raping her? How on earth does that make any sense? Toni wrote that he had a relationship with a man named Blue, and he was mothered by his great-aunt until she passed away when he was thirteen. Then, he was raised by her brother. These aren't biological parents, but they are parental figures and role models that he grew up with, who treated him kindly and who loved him and protected him. How does the lack of interaction with his biological parents, justify raping his kids, because he 'doesn't know better'? Especially since he has watched and experienced interactions with adult parental figures and none of them have molested him, or other little children.
Where is he getting the idea that forcing himself on his screaming daughter as genuinely being ok? What examples has he learned this behavior from and why isn't that explained in the novel? Toni said that he was a drunkard, so wouldn't it make more sense to write that he was drunk and perhaps confused his daughter for his wife? For a greater example of how the motivations of the characters do not make sense, is the book premise itself; the main theme doesn't even make sense. Pecola is having issues with society but blames it on her eye color.
Ok, I understand her mother treats the little white children she nannies better than her, and I also understand her issues at school and society is because she is dark-skinned therefore perceived ugly. So then would her problem be her dark complexion, and not her eye color? It would make sense if the children her mother nannies had blue eyes, but that was never explained or established in the book, so what the heck? Repeatedly the attention is thrown on the fact that she's black-skinned. So where do the eye part comes from? Am I missing something here? There is the argument that her eye color is suppose symbolize European standards of beauty, but honestly, I cannot agree. The 'symbolism' seems artificially generated by the author herself, and forced into the culture of her novel's fictional world.
Most indigenous societies and the black community itself corrupted by colonialism and European culture, simply desire lighter complexion and silky hair, not specifically 'blue eyes'. Green eyes, and brown eyes are also considered beautiful. I could imagine how this book would fit well into the logic of the protagonist's issues, if the book had focused as the rest of the book did on her skin color. This leads me into the next issue Problem 3: Unused and wasted opportunity in character use, and plot development.
Makes for a pointless underachieving story - Regarding the protagonist's circumstance and her particular time in American history, I could imagine Toni taking this opportunity to muddle in actual culture examples of forced European beauty standards in American society, by incorporating actual white-centric advertisements of the time, actual white actresses who were considered beautiful at the time, and light-skinned black actresses who were also considered beautiful at the time.
She could've somehow relate this and point this out with classic American literature forced on Children, like blonde Cinderella or "white as snow" Sleeping Beauty, and make the protagonist fall into self-loathe by these permanent aspects of princess culture. Pecola could've been desirable and beautiful but rejected for her skin color perhaps? The housewife could be a woman who bleached her skin and somehow resented the protagonist because she reminded her of her former self?
Claudia could hate the protagonist because she was beautiful regardless of her dark complexion? The priest could've offered Pecola skin bleaching skin, and Picola could've fallen mentally ill due to some accident due to her excitement of being white. Toni have discussed and incorporated the racist cartoons of the time, that described black children especially dark skinned children as ugly buck-toothed big-lipped 'pickaninnies'. Toni could have also incorporated the 'paper bag' test, could have gone on about how the 'hair' culture, among black mothers. And how coarser hair is considered 'ugly'. The theme was loosely about colorism. I read maybe 2 chapters that solidly built on the racial themes, but the rest was merely short stories about unrelated characters.
Even Pauline the mother herself, only favored the white children she cared for, more than her actual children because of issues with their father, not because they were black. There was so SO many things Toni could have done with this storyline that was ultimately wasted. Instead she dove much deeper talking about how "Cholly's anus lips had softened at the sight of his daughter". I just I don't understand how this book became a beloved classic and won a Nobel Prize.
Was it out of political correctness? And wanting to seem 'progressive' by praising any piece of black work that talks about controversial issues? I'm black and I can honestly say this was a disturbing, poorly put together, grotesque book and did absolutely nothing for me but question if the author was secretly a pedophile. It baffles me how many black people praise this, simply because the author is black herself. Its substandard in comparison to other lesser-known black novels that I've read. And I am beyond shock there are people out there who think this is appropriate for middle school and high school kids. For a lot of this book, this book is unnecessary porn, and images that young impressionable teens shouldn't have in their minds!
Jul 31, Thomas rated it really liked it Shelves: lit-outside-of-school , historical-fiction , read-for-dmv-bookclub. Toni Morrison captures this dynamic of internalized racial self-loathing so well. With vivid prose, she interrogates how glorifying white skin and blue eyes harms black girls and turns them 4. With vivid prose, she interrogates how glorifying white skin and blue eyes harms black girls and turns them against one another. Through developing the main characters of this book, the Breedlove family, in a rich and detailed way, Morrison also investigates the repercussions of intergenerational trauma, rape and incest, and more.
My heart hurt so much for these characters even as my mind admired Morrison's skill as a writer. She holds nothing back in her books, and neither should we as we fight to diversify our media and show how all bodies deserve love and respect, not just white ones, thin ones, etc. Highly recommended to Morrison fans and to those who care about societal beauty ideals, race and the family, and the social transmission of trauma and abuse. That's her name. Her name bothered me the first time I read it.
How do you even pronounce it. Slowly, but surely, I understood that was the point. Pecola herself would never be pretty, would never be understood. No one would ever be able to shorten or lengthen her name into a cute nick. Her hair, her eyes, her countenance, her life, would never be considered more than an in Pecola. Her hair, her eyes, her countenance, her life, would never be considered more than an insult, not only to herself, but to her people, too. Pecola, trapped in poverty, was mercilessly teased by her peers, raped and impregnated by her father and judged by her elders. Eventually, Pecola went crazy and was last seen digging through the garbage by her old childhood "friend", one of the narrators of the novel. The narrators acknowledge the superior tone of The Observer, a concept I had never considered.
Or, maybe just less caring. That's it. Pecola herself, never experiences self-superiority, which I believe is the first time I have ever noticed such a phenomena. Most characters, especially underdog protagonists, experience some sort of self-superiority however deluded at some point in their "character arc. Instead, she is motivated by achieving superiority by getting blue eyes. That is interesting to me. All of The Bluest Eye is interesting to me. The cruelty and evil that lurk inside the realm of survival and desire is explored beautifully and almost unbearably. Pecola's desire for having the bluest eyes in the world reminded me of some of my absurd goals and I am once again reminded to reassess my values.
That's not a bad thing to do once in awhile or, in my case, on a regular basis. Shelves: pure-power-of-gr , person-of-reality , reality-check , reviewed , antidote-think-twice-all , nobel-prize-people , 1-read-on-hand , person-of-everything , 4-star , r-goodreads. After all, we are talking a physicality that differs in very few respects from the type idealized by the Nationalist Socialist German Workers' Party, and in the land of the whites and the home of the bleach, that phenotype means power. Just last week, one of my professors commented on 4. Just last week, one of my professors commented on her constant well-dressed appearance with "I can't wash this off," scrubbing at her hand as synecdoche for how her African heritage had chosen to display itself.
Sixty years ago that choice in clothing was just as politically charged, for to dress well and not be white was an open invitation to getting the living shit beaten out of you. As you can see, the white supremacy is a canny thing, always knowing how to change its skin. Four to five hundred years or so ago, the science of race was invented to excuse the existence of slavery in the face of religious humanity and social equality. Since then, the country of the United States was invented, taught to children as a "cultural melting pot" that flenses them from schoolyard to mass media and back again.
It is an easy process: bully any who diverge into a morass of self-hatred, let others who are of the flock accessorize with the dehumanized divergence, then commercialize until all that is left of a human heritage is white people consumption. Jazz, Hinduism, bindis, yoga, rap, sushi, greeted with raging disgust and vitriolic hatred unless, of course, you're white. Then by all means, consume away. There's no danger in your representation. Only oppression. It would be allegory if the entire machinery of the US Government didn't single out the chosen sacrifices based on the color of skin and the inheritance of creed, but it does.
It would have aged badly if cultural appropriation wasn't an imperialistic practice that takes the existence of others as the latest "fad" for a blonde-haired and blue-eyed persona, but it is. I'm talking dark-skinned girls bleaching their skin, I'm talking the violation of civilizations for the pursuit of a hobby, I'm talking a disconnect between an entire host of souls from their bodies that makes the incest in this book ugly and a white man raping his three-year-old daughter legally acceptable in the US as of Toni Morrison wrote this book while people were killing themselves to keep themselves aligned with "respectability politics" of white fashion; today, every white person wants dreadlocks.
Shit on something long enough and it's yours for the commercial taking, so long, of course, you look a certain way. If you dehumanize someone because they don't look like blonde-haired blue-eyed white-skinned skinny-assed me, you are utter, fucking, goddamn trash. It's as simple as that. View all 10 comments. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. A painful, uncomfortable, provocative, depressing story that is nevertheless more honest and real than most of the books I've read this year. In a foreword written two decades after first publication, the author expresses some misgivings about the structure of the novel and about how Pecola, the main character, may be lacking in relevance for larger issues of racial identity, her story too particular to lend itself well to generalities.
For me, like in the case of Carson McCullers, these flaws in execution may be the very things that convinced me of the sincerity of the feelings described, and the idiom flavored prose more expressive and authentic than later, more polished books I'm thinking of Home , the only Morrison book I've read before this one. The main theme, that of self-esteem, identity and prejudice, is as relevant today as it was in when the action is placed or in when the book was first published.
Only last week I've read in the news about a shameful Fox News debacle on the colour of Father Christmas and of Jesus skin. Why can't we have a black Santa? Why would it be considered ugly? The standards of beauty imposed by fashion magazines and MTV shows may be more inclusive today in terms of skin colour, but they remain as radical and as dangerous for children and teenagers who are not tall, skinny, 'blue eyed'. Don't even start me on Miley Cyrus as a role model Back to Pecola Breedlove: a little black girl who wanted to rise up out of the pit of her blackness and see the world with blue eyes.
The whole world is telling her she is ugly, worthless, pityful, and Pecola is not strong enough to contradict it and to fight for herself. It is the artist role to be her advocate, to feel her pain, her despair, and to shout it out for all to hear They are invisible. The death of self-esteem can occur quickly, easily in children, before their ego has 'legs', so to speak.
Couple the vulnerability of youth with indifferent parents, dismissive adults, and a world, which, in its language, laws, and images, re-enforces despair, and the journey to destruction is sealed. The story of Pecola reads more like a parable than a reportage, with the outcome made clear right from the start, extensive use of metaphoric language and a fatalistic inevitability that harks back to the Greek tragedies. Most of the novel is told through the eyes of Frieda and Claudia, two black girls growing up in Larain, Ohio in , witnessing the drama unfolding in the Breedlove family, fighting spirits both but yet too young to be able to do anything about their friend.
They plant some flower seeds in the barren earth of their neighborhood marigolds as a symbol for love and understanding? What is clear now is that of all that hope, fear, lust, love, and grief, nothing remains but Pecola and the unyielding earth. Cholly Breedlove is dead; our innocence too. The seeds shriveled and died; her baby too. There is really nothing more to say - except why. But since 'why' is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in 'how'. The following account is non-linear, broken in pieces, jumping back and forth in the timeline and moving around to other locations, passed through from one character to another in an almost haphazard manner, yet coming round by the finish line to Pecole and the marigolds refusing to bloom.
Many factors contribute to the little girl's downfall, yet the lion's share of blame should probably be placed firmly at her parents door: Pauline and Cholly Breedlove have a disfunctional relationship that hurts their children more than their own calloused and already defeated souls. Polly takes refuge in the fantasy world of cinema and believes her children should conform to the burgeois standards of the white class: Into her son she beat a loud desire to run away, and into her daughter she beat a fear of growing up, fear of other people, fear of life.
Cholly is a drunkard who keeps everything inside, unable to express himself other than though violence, regularly beating his wife and terorizing the children. He pities his daughter, but the way he chooses to manifest his emotion is more than horrible. Another abuser is a certain Whitcomb, an Anglophile mullato con man and a pervert who poses as a priest and a dream interpreter. In this instance, the mouth becomes a space for access to the authentic self or soul. The mouth functions as such a space in other instances in the novel as well. Following Mr. MacTeer attack him physically. After Pecola feeds Bob the poisoned meat, the dog moves his mouth strangely. Pecola opens her mouth in horror and then coversher mouth to prevent herself from vomiting.
While pregnant with Sammy, Pauline loses a tooth as she eats candy during a Gable and Harlow film. This loss signifies her self-perception as an ugly woman with an imperfect mouth, so unlike those on the screen. Pauline is perhaps most revelatory in a series of flashback memories. In one of them, she tells of a white employer who spoke out of one side of her mouth and casually informs Pauline that she should leave her marriage to Cholly. In another flashback memory, Pauline describes making love with Cholly. She then eats a piece of peach cobbler that the neighbors believe causes her death. A fly settles in the corner of her mouth until Cholly waves it away. One of them, Jake, offers him a cigarette.
Cholly embarrasses himself by placing the cigarette over the match instead of placing it in his mouth. This taste mirrors his feeling of belonging and contentment. When Claudia encounters the Maginot Line, she is unable to speak, finding her mouth immobile. In a moment of sincere self-revelation, Soaphead Church writes a letter to God saying that it is difficult for him to keep his mouth and hands off girl children. She rescues Cholly as a baby after his mother abandons him and subsequently raises Cholly on her own.
She is the sole source of affection for Cholly during his childhood. Cholly does, however, respect Aunt Jimmy and has sincere affection for her. The women of the community, who are clearly attached to Aunt Jimmy, gather around, sit with her, bring her food, and attempt to nurse her back to health. Out of concern one of the women, Essie Foster, prepares and brings a peach cobbler to Aunt Jimmy. Aunt Jimmy does not comply, eats a piece of peach pie, and is dead the next morning. Aunt Julia is an aunt to Della Jones and is said to aimlessly drift up and down Sixteenth Street in an old bonnet, startling passersby. Breedlove and her friends are ambivalent about whether Aunt Julia should be committed to the county mental hospital.
The boys surround Pecola and taunt her with jibes about her family and the darkness of her skin color. Bertha Reese is the older and deeply religious woman who owns a candy shop and rents a room to Soaphead Church. Hard of hearing, Bertha Reese leaves her tenant to his own devices. She owns a mangy dog named Bob that Soaphead finds disgusting. Soaphead deceives Pecola intokilling the dog when he tells her that feeding Bob a piece of meat will fulfill her request for blue eyes. Bertha is upset when she discovers the dead dog.
Big Mama is Mrs. Claudia and Frieda call their grandfather, Mrs. In fact, Cholly loves Blue. Blue pays attention to Cholly and is a storyteller who captivates young Cholly with tales of what it felt like to be emancipated. Blue also tells a peculiar tale about a dead white woman who was beheaded by her husband and who haunted her former home blindly in search of a comb. The most significant encounter between Blue and Cholly occurs at a Fourth of July church picnic. After the father of a family attending the picnic breaks a watermelon against a rock in order to open it for his children, Blue retrieves the heart, the seedless sweet core of the melon, and gives it to Cholly.
Cholly and Blue eat the melon together. When Aunt Jimmy dies and Cholly, with no information about sex, thinks that his ill-fated sexual encounter with Darlene may have impregnated her, the young man seeks out Blue for advice. Blue, an alcoholic, is incoherent and incapable of responding to or providing guidance to Cholly. Bertha Reese owns Bob the dog. Bob is so old and ill that he smells and oozes fluid from his various orifices. Soaphead, however, finds the prospect of actually killing the dog himself too distasteful to enact. Soaphead gives Pecola poisoned meat to feed him. Soaphead tells Pecola that feeding the meat to the dog will help her to get the blue eyes she desires.
Soaphead tricks Pecola into killing the dog and convinces himself that the act is for the greater good. Pecola opens her mouth in horror and then covers her mouth to prevent herself from vomiting. Buddy Wilson is one of the boys in town who harass and torment Pecola as she walks with Claudia, Frieda, and Maureen Peal. China is a prostitute who shares a residence and companionship with two other prostitutes, Miss Marie and Poland. They live in the same building as the Breedloves and share conversations with Pecola.
China is very interested in her own appearance and is always transforming her looks by changing her makeup from one style to another. Despite her attempts at make up, the narrator describes her face as unflattering. Aging, China is resistant to being thought of as old. She is thin with brown teeth and bandy legs. Like Miss Marie and Poland, she hates men. When Aunt Jimmy dies, Cholly is again an orphan and without a home. After this rejection, Cholly acquires a freedom, a detachment unconstrained by responsibility or conscience and therefore becomes dangerous and destructive. Cholly and newfound cousin, Jake, begin a youthful flirtation with two girls, Darlene and Suky.
The foursome go on a walk and discover an unripe muscadine grape grove. In the wake of their feasting on the grapes, renowned for their dark sweetness, Cholly and Darlene kiss and, eventually, begin to have intercourse. When Cholly and Darlene initiate their love making, Darlene kisses Cholly on the mouth and he finds her mouth unpleasant. The subsequent humiliating interruption and exploitation of this first sexual experience by racist and abusive white hunters leaves Cholly powerless to defend himself or to retaliate. As a result, he channels his frustration and anger toward Darlene, establishing a lifelong pattern of venting his rage at the oppression he experiences on those more powerless and impotent than himself. This habitual redirection of his anger at relatively helpless individuals occurs most frequently with his family.
Cholly meets and marries Pauline Williams and, for a brief period, seems to genuinely connect with her as they begin to build a life together. The constant in the Breedlove home is the perpetual emotional, verbal, and physical battle between Cholly and Pauline, whom he always refers to as Mrs. Cholly merely responds to stimuli in his environment and is incapable of functioning as anything other than an abuser. Later, Cholly dies in the workhouse. Claudia MacTeer is the daughter of Mrs.
MacTeer Mama and Mr. Mac Teer Daddy and the primary narrator of the novel. Claudia MacTeer is nine years old at the beginning of the novel. Claudia lives in a green house, which connects her to the Dick and Jane story at the beginning of the novel. She shares with the fictional and flat Dick and Jane the same family structure. She is a daughter with a father and a mother and a sister and she, like Jane, plays. These characteristics reflect the very real difficulties Claudia and her family face. The family, while stable and solid, has to contend with the challenges of life as African Americans in the post-depression era.
This love manifests in the things that they do for Claudia rather than in the things that they say to her. Through her experience of their actions, Claudia grows secure in her belief in the relative safety of her immediate world. She is not coddled by her parents, but she is protected and cared for by them. In many ways Claudia functions as a contrast to Pecola who is without parental protection and nurturance. The Bluest Eye can be characterized as a bildungsroman, or a coming-of-age story, featuring Claudia as the primary character undergoing the transition between childhood and womanhood.
Each incident, while often unresolved, demonstrates to Claudia the norms of her community and the rules that govern the behavior of the adults in that community. Often Claudia, in her innocence, finds conflict between the values articulated by adults and their actions. In her acceptance of or acquiescence to these inconsistencies, Claudia learns how to conform to the expectations of those around her. The conflicts Claudia navigates teach her primarily about what behaviors are acceptable and which are not, as well as what the consequences are for straying beyond the boundaries of communally defined normalcy.
For example, Claudia learns that it is not alright to destroy a gift even if, fundamentally, the gift is distasteful to her. When she is given a white baby doll for Christmas, those around her expect that she, like they, will value it and cherish the gift. Claudia is disturbed by the false, almost macabre smiles of her dolls. Claudia does not understand what the doll represents and why those around her are so enamored of it. As a result, she dismantles the toy in an attempt literally to get at the heart of what is so attractive about the doll. Claudia also learns how to read her environment, a lesson vital to internalizing behaviors and adapting to adult ways of behaving. MacTeer sings. Often, however, there is a decided difference between what Claudia perceives and what she is told.
This lack of compassion prompts Claudia and Frieda to act in the only way they know and that is accessible to them. The marigolds do not grow. She cannot save Pecola or change the environment in which they both exist, a world where the reality is that people are bound by the stories they believe—stories like DICK AND JANE that create hierarchies and, most frequently, place those without blue eyes at the bottom of the heap. MacTeer, called Daddy by Claudia, is a man invested in the wellbeing of his family. Although not such a central character as Mama Mrs. MacTeer , Mr. The most significant act he performs in the novel occurs when Henry Washington molests Frieda.
He assaults the man physically and shoots after him in an attempt to defend his daughter. The MacTeer girls experience some shame about their father as well. Although Cholly asks Darlene to go on a walk with him, it is Darlene who is the one in control of the situation. While the two share a feast of muscadine grapes,Darlene stains her dress with the dark juice of the fruit. Darlene instigates the sexual interaction between the two and the encounter might have proven pleasurable and fulfilling for both of them if hunters had not intruded and turned their intercourse into a degrading spectacle. During their walk, it begins to rain. This event helps Darlene to explain her stained and dirty dress to her mother, who does not react with excessive anger. Darlene is the first in a long series of women that Cholly will use as the focus of his frustration and anger at the oppression he experiences.
Della Jones is the subject of gossip by Mrs. In addition to this emotional trauma, Della also suffers a series of strokes that leave her unable to communicate effectively or to recognize those around her. Marie tells Pecola stories of this man. Marie tells Pecola that she met Dewey when she was 14 and that she ran away from Jackson, Mississippi, to Cincinnati, Ohio, with him and that they lived together like a married couple for three years. The couple has children that Marie refuses to speak about. The novel begins with a replication of the Dick and Jane texts that were widely used by American educators in the s and s to teach primary school students how to read.
Dick is a character in the Dick and Jane book series. The series was designed to help children learn how to read. The books are characterized by simple phrases that describe the activities and feelings of the characters in a way that is accessible to pre-readers. These books present a sanitized version of family life and normalcy. The house in the Dick and Jane narrative has a red door. Essie Foster is a wonderful cook and well-intentioned woman who brings Aunt Jimmy a peach cobbler when Aunt Jimmy is ill.
She even offers to hold the funeral banquet at her house. Father is a character in the Dick and Jane book series. He is described physically as big and strong. Pauline showers the little Fisher girl with endearments and affectionate nicknames while she does not provide the same nurturance for her own children, Sammy and Pecola. Despite the burns Pecola receives from the hot berries, Pauline hits and violently rebukes her child while consoling and comforting the little Fisher girl who is unsettled but unharmed by the event. Pauline finds both a purpose and solace through her work as their maid.
In a possible allusion to the film Imitation of Life, Mr. In return for the comfort the family represents, Pauline is a loyal, protective, and self-effacing servant. The Fishers give Pauline a nickname, Polly, a gesture she missed and did not receive from her own family. She is 10 years old at the beginning of the novel. Although Frieda is more reserved and shy than Claudia, she is a bit more savvy and informed about the machinations of the adult world than is Claudia. Even though Frieda is more withdrawing than Claudia, she often demonstrates an enormous strength of character. She, for example, defends Pecola when she is pestered by a group of boys and also intervenes when her mother misunderstands what is happening when Pecola begins to menstruate.
Frieda consistently defends those who are weaker than she is and who are abused and oppressed. Frieda makes an odd noise with her lips when Claudia suggests that she, Pecola, and Frieda look at Mr. Frieda is the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Mr. When Henry Washington inappropriately pinches her breast, characteristically, she protects herself by telling her parents. After the incident of abuse, Frieda is despondent because she believes she may be ruined. Geraldine, socialized to conform unquestioningly to the definitions of normalcy, rigidly adheres to convention. She is deeply invested in appearance and channels all of her feeling and emotion into the work of creating order and fighting against anything—dirt, poverty, free expression—that threatens her efforts.
She passes this way of thinking on to her son, Louis Junior, who is isolated from his peers as a result. Geraldine is an overbearing but disinterested mother who saves her fondest attention and adoration for her cat. When Geraldine finds Pecola in her home and her cat injured, the woman loses all pretense of graciousness and hurls expletives at the child. Pecola represents a dangerous intrusion into her neatly arranged life. Geraldine has no compassion or sympathy for the child. She only wants Pecola out of her house.
From their actions and their broken and monosyllabic use of English, the men appear to be extremely limited. Their voyeurism and vicarious rape of both Darlene and Cholly is an action meant to affirm their power and serves as a way for the men to assert their assumed superiority. The incident is marked by the disturbing staccato laughter of the men as they sadistically watch the helpless pair obey their commands. Jake, a young man of 15, is O. After Jake gives Cholly his first cigarette, the two quickly bond and Jake suggests that Cholly should introduce him to some of the local girls who are attending the funeral.
Jake, Suky, Cholly, and Darlene then go for a walk to eat muscadine grapes. After eating the grapes, Jake and Suky return to the gathering, leaving Cholly and Darlene alone. This very short interaction with Jake seems to be the only genuine camaraderie Cholly experiences in his life. The novel begins with a replication of the Dick and Jane texts that were widely used by American educators into the s and s to teach primary school students how to read. Jane is a character in the Dick and Jane book series. In addition to living happily in the green and white house with Father, Mother, and Dick, Jane wants to play.
She asks the cat, Mother, Father, and the dog to play and they are unresponsive. At the end of the story, Jane finds a friend and they play. Junie Bug is one of the boys in town who harass and torment Pecola as she walks with Claudia, Frieda, and Maureen Peal. Listerine and Lucky Strike Breath is the descriptive name given to the man who sells a sofa to Cholly Breedlove. The sofa, when delivered, is slit in the back. The salesman refuses to replace the damaged goods and therefore the Breedloves receive the defective furniture rather than a new, inviting sofa.
The incident illustrates the ways in which disadvantaged African Americans were often cheated and powerless to change their circumstances. Obsessively cared for by his mother, Geraldine, Louis Junior feels the care is physical only, and he longs for her affection and warmth—attentions his mother seems to be able to express only to the family cat. Living next door to the elementary school gives Louis a false sense of ownership and an arrogance that bolsters his mean behavior. Junior is a boy who goes to school with Pecola. Junior uses violence as a means to express his anger and hurt.
Like Pecola, Junior is abused, but in a different way. Junior has been given everything he needs to survive. He is not beaten or yelled at, but Junior never receives affection or love from his mother. One lonely afternoon, Junior lures Pecola into his house, under the guise of wanting to play with her. He is gleeful at her injury and at her panic as he tells her she is locked in the house and is his prisoner. When Geraldine walks in on the scene, Junior blames Pecola for everything that has happened. Geraldine responds by calling Pecola a bitch.
MacTeer, is a fierce woman who works hard to keep her family fed, clothed, well, and respectable. Claudia misreads her abrupt and straightforward mannerisms for disregard. When Claudia is ill, for example, Mrs. Both Mr. Both parents unhesitatingly defend their daughter. MacTeer is a singer, and her songs convey information to her daughters that is both practical and generative. Although not traditionally nurturing, Mrs. MacTeer is a strong woman who provides for her children an environment in which they learn to value themselves. Maureen Peal is the new girl in town. Both Frieda and Claudia are perplexed by the adoration Maureen Peal receives. Maureen Peal is lightskinned with long straight hair and green eyes.
She wears clothes that the MacTeer girls only dream about owning. The black and white adults and children in Lorain treat the girl with the deference and adoration associated with whiteness and, by doing so, reveal the skin color and class hierarchies that influence the community. Maureen has more information than the girls about some things like menstruation and seems worldlier.
Unlike Pecola, though, the MacTeer girls have enough self-esteem to fight back. They call Maureen names as she runs down the street away from them. Living alone in a decrepit structure on the edge of the woods, she is a mysterious and awesome figure, especially to young Cholly. She wears her hair in four white knots of gray hair. The proprietor of a neighborhood candy and tobacco store, Miss Bertha has a reputation for selling stale candy and for frequently running out of stock.
She witnesses Mr. MacTeer to take Frieda to the doctor to see if she has lost her virginity. Miss Dunion refers to this possibility as being ruined, a term both Frieda and Claudia misunderstand. They think that Frieda will grow fat. We've helped thousands of students and keep providing high quality academic assistance to everyone who needs it. We are recommended as a number one best writing service by all our client, so check out the reviews, talk to our customer care agents and pass your assisgnment to the hands of our experienced writers.
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