My little brown eyes are as beautiful as your blue eyes.Ezioma Kalu.
The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author’s girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio, it tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigolds in the Breedloves’ garden do not bloom. Pecola’s life does change- in painful, devastating ways.
What its vivid evocation of the fear and loneliness at the heart of a child’s yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment. The Bluest Eye remains one of Toni Morrisons’s most powerful, unforgettable novels- and a significant work of American fiction.
This is a book about Pecola, a young African American, who thinks having a pair of blue eyes automatically makes one beautiful.
Set in Lorain Ohio in the forties, the novel tells a tragic tale of a young girl Pecola, whose life has been bitter and sad through and through. Coming from a dysfunctional family, a father who abuses his wife, and a mother who complains terribly, she experiences a tremendous pain and childhood trauma.
Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe.Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye.
When Pecola’s father, Cholly burned down their house, the Breedloves, Pecola’s family becomes homeless and Pecola goes to live with the MacTeers. Claudia MacTeers, the prominent narrator of the story, also an African American becomes Pecola’s friend and they bond pretty well.
But Pecola has one wish, to have a pair of blue eyes. This is because the whites, who were racists and who treated the African American with disgust and disdain, all have blue eyes. And so, the young girl only understands beauty and social Equality to stem from having blue eyes.
Pecola has always wanted to feel beautiful, to be beautiful. As she is convinced she is ugly, because nobody associates with her in school, because the white kids all have blue eyes, and she, an ugly, black girl, who has a repulsive ugly smear on her face, is always left to stay by herself.
Anger is better. There is a sense of being in anger. A reality and presence. An awareness of worth. It is a lovely surging.Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye.
She desperately wants to belong. Coupled with the fact that her family is nothing to write home about, she wants to escape from that pit of blackness and inferiority to experience the light and salvation of whiteness, of blue eyes, of superiority.
But instead of her wish materializing, she faces the unspeakable. Her father, Cholly, comes home one day, drunk, rapes her and leaves her unconscious. She becomes pregnant as a result of that, and slowly, but steadily loses her mind.
She has conversations with an invisible person, herself to be fair, about her new found treasure, her blue eyes. She believes she currently has blue eyes, and that her dreams have finally come to pass. I rate this book as 3.8/5, because the narrative style is a little complicated for me.
Have you read the book? What do you feel about it? Please share your thoughts with me in the comment section. Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter, follow me on all social media platforms and share with your friends.
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