term paper 1

term paper 1 - Mondesir 1 Samnatha Mondesir English OIB Ms...

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Mondesir 1 Samnatha Mondesir English OIB Ms. Gassier 9 December 2005 Term Paper: The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is the story of three young girls, Pecola, Claudia and Frieda, growing up in the 1940’s in a little town called Lorain in the state of Ohio. The novel gives us an account of Pecola’s life and how she despises herself for being black. Her one and only desire throughout the whole novel is to obtain blue eyes to then be loved and adored like all the white people. Published at a time when the United States was going through the “black is beautiful” revolution, The Bluest Eye explores the inferiority that whites accorded to blacks and as a result the manner in which blacks perceived themselves. There are many incidents in the novel where we can see that sight plays a big role. None more so than Pecola’s view of the “white world” that she hears about. Pecola is just like any other adolescent; she is going through an identity crisis. However in Pecola’s case this seems to go to the extreme. Pecola demonstrates this self loathing that does not help her in anyway. She convinces herself that maybe if she had these white features, such as blue eyes, she would be loved and favored by all like all the white kids. In such a situation, Pecola is not the one to blame. We must look at the Society in which she was growing up in. Peco
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Mondesir 2 Although Pecola, as well as the other girls in the novel, were not growing up in a big city, they were faced with the reality of racism and discrimination. We can see this in an incident that occurs at the very beginning of the novel. Claudia says: We stare at her, wanting her bread, but more than that wanting to poke the arrogance out of her eyes and smash the pride of ownership that curls her chewing mouth. When she comes out of the car we will beat her up, make red marks on her white skin, and she will cry and ask us do we want to pull her pants down. We will say no. We don’t know what we should feel or do if she does, but whenever she asks us, we know she is offering us something precious and that our own pride must be asserted by refusing to accept. (Morrison 9) Claudia is speaking about a young girl named Rosemary Villanucci who is black just like them. The only difference is that Rosemary is white and therefore is regarded in the black community, as well as in the white community, as superior. Why, one may ask. Well this can be explained by all of the objects that surrounded the people of that era. In the 1940’s, when the book is set, and certainly up to the 1970’s when the book was published, blacks were seen as inferior and the image of a black person was considered ugly. As a result, just like Pecola most of the black youth was unable to be strong minded
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term paper 1 - Mondesir 1 Samnatha Mondesir English OIB Ms...

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