the bluest eye (1).docx - THE BLUEST EYE(BE Key Facts about...

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THE BLUEST EYE (BE) Key Facts about The Bluest Eye : Full Title: The Bluest Eye When Written: 1962-1965 Where Written: Syracuse, New York When Published: 1970 Literary Period: Modernist Genre: Coming of age, tragedy, African-American literature Setting: Loraine, Ohio, in the years following the great depression, 1940-1941. Climax: Pecola's rape by her father Cholly Antagonist: Cholly Breedlove, The White Standard of Beauty, and Racism Point of View: First person passages narrated by Claudia MacTeer, third person omniscient. Extra Credit for The Bluest Eye : Controversy: Morrison's novel has experienced an abundance of controversy because of the novel's strong language and sexually explicit content. The American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom lists The Bluest Eye as no. 12 on its list of the top 100 banned/challenged books from 2000 to 2007. Inspiration: The Bluest Eye was inspired by a real life interaction Toni Morrison had with a girl who wanted blue eyes. Her reaction to the girl, which was anger, stayed with her, and later she began to wonder what leads a young girl to desire such a radical transformation. These thoughts led to the writing of The Bluest Eye. Summary: The Bluest Eye is split into an untitled prelude and four large units, each named after a season. The four larger units begin with "Autumn" and end in "Summer," with each unit being split into smaller sections. The first section of each season is narrated by Claudia MacTeer , a woman whose memories frame the events of the novel. At the time that the main events of the plot take place, Claudia is a nine-year-old girl. This device allows Morrison to employ a reflective adult narrator without losing the innocent perspective of a child. Claudia MacTeer lives with her parents and her sister in the humble MacTeer family house in Lorrain, Ohio. The year is 1939.
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The novel's focus, however, is on a girl named Pecola Breedlove . Pecola, we are told in the prelude, will be raped by her father by novel's end. The prelude frames the story so that the reader knows from the beginning that Pecola's story ends tragically. The Breedloves are poor, unhappy, and troubled. Their story seems in many ways to be deterministic, as they are often the victims of forces over which they have no control. Their situation is a powerful contrast to the MacTeers, who are of slender means but have a strong family unit. The MacTeers also seem to have much stronger agency, and are never really passive victims in the way that the Breedloves are. When Claudia is not narrating, a third-person narrator takes her place. The narrative style, even in third person, is one of great psychological intimacy. The third-person narrator of The Bluest Eye is no dispassionate observer, but one who gives insights into the thoughts of characters and occasionally interprets events in a very explicit manner. The sections narrated in the third person are all focused on some aspect of Pecola's life‹the sections explore either a family member or a specific significant event. These sections have headings, taken from a
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