Racism in the Bluest Eye

Topics: Black people, Race and Ethnicity, White people Pages: 2 (752 words) Published: March 3, 2012
Racism in “The Bluest Eye”

Several examples of racism are encompassed in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. Characters who are members of the black community are forced to accept their status as the “others”, or “outsiders”, which has been imposed on them by the white community. In turn, blacks assign this status to other individuals within the lighter-skinned black community. In this novel, characters begin to internalize the racism presented by these people, and feel inferior. The stereotype torments them mentally, and in some cases, to the point of insanity. The character most affected by racism is Pecola Breedlove. Pecola Breedlove’s character is defined by several different types of racism. It is present in her family, especially her parents, from school, and from society, where white children are considered to be “more important” than black children. Pecola is so accustomed to the racism that she faces every day, that she internalizes it, and develops a desire for blue eyes. This desire stems from the fact that blue eyes are the eyes of white person.

Pecola is taunted by the children at school and in the community on several occasions. One example of this occurred when a group of boys made fun of her, saying, “She also knew that when one of the girls at school wanted to be particularly insulting to a boy, or wanted to get an immediate response from him, she could say. ‘Bobby loves Pecola Breedlove! Bobby loves Pecola Breedlove!’ and never fail to get peals of laughter from those in earshot, and mock anger from the accused.” Although her classmates are black, they make fun of her anyway. It is an effect of internalized racism. Pecola's classmates also insult her black skin by saying "Black e mo. Black e mo. Yadaddysleepsnekked …" to which Morrison adds, “They had extemporized a verse made up of two insults about matters over which the victim had no control: the color of her skin and speculations on the sleeping habits of an adult , wildly fitting in...
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