The Bluest Eye | Study Guide

Toni Morrison

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

The Bluest Eyeby the Numbers Rank of The Bluest Eye on the American Library Association’s 100 most frequently challenged books list for 1990–99 34 Decade the black power movement coined the slogan “black is beautiful” 1960s Year Morrison received the Presidential Medal of Freedom 2012 Time Morrison woke up every morning to write The Bluest Eye 4 a.m. Light Eyes Represent the unattainable ideal—a genetic impossibility for Pecola Movie Stars Symbolize idealized—and primarily white—beauty standards in the 1940s Flowers Stand for growth, hope, and fertility Symbols Narrator, Autumn, Chapter 3 t had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes...were different...she herself would be different. Sources:, The Guardian, PEN America Copyright © 2017 Course Hero, Inc. Morrison wrote The Bluest Eye, her first novel, while working as an editor and single mother. Although The Bluest Eye was not well received when it was published, Morrison has since earned numerous accolades and awards for her novels, many of which raise important questions about race. TONI MORRISONBORN 1931 Author Main Characters Claudia MacTeer The narrator; spirited girl trying to figure out the world Pecola Breedlove Abused girl; equates having blue eyes with happiness Cholly Breedlove Angry, abusive, hard-drinking father Pauline Breedlove Stern, religious mother; believes she is ugly Frieda MacTeer Girl obsessed with Shirley Temple; defends Claudia and Pecola Friends Family Self-Loathing Characters learn from American culture to despise themselves for not being white. Construction of Beauty Society shapes our understanding of beauty and often equates beauty with worth. Dangers of Love Love and sex are complicated but should never involve abuse. Pecola, an African American girl from an abusive family, yearns for blue eyes. Her wish represents the cultural messages African American girls hear, messages that tell them they can never be beautiful. When Pecola's father rapes her, she becomes desperate for eyes so pretty that no one will ever be cruel to her again. Messages about Love, Beauty & Worth THEMES English Original Language 1970 Year Published Toni Morrison Author The Bluest Eye Novel Drama

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