The Bluest Eye . Difference Between Home and House

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The Bluest Eye

When one thinks of the word home, a place of comfort, love, and support comes to mind. Home is where one goes to ease their mind and soul from the hectic nature of the world outside, hang up their hat, sit, and put up their feet, only to be surrounded by the ones that they love. Home is a place where one goes when they are confused, afraid, unsure or merely exhausted from life’s challenges, to feel serenity, and a peace of mind. When thinking of home and all the things that come to mind when saying that simple four letter word, we tend to forget that maybe because for us home means all of those great things, unfortunately many people are not as lucky to have a home to go to at the end of their days. Yes, they might have a house to go to at the end of their days where they have a lawn, a balcony, a bed, a kitchen, a living room, and even a yard, just as we do, but still, do not have a home. A house, in its true meaning, is just merely that, a house. A house is a constructed place of living, where one resides, that has all the materialistic essentials to survive in it, but is not a home because it has no feeling of love, safety or serenity within it. These two words, “home” and “house”, that seem so similar, are so very different in their meanings. In, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, house and home as ideal and reality is one of the main themes that are shown frequently in the novella, through the lives of the Breedlove family. Main character Pecola Breedlove struggled as a young girl, living in a house that had little to no sense of home within it because of her family’s dynamic.

Pecola Breedlove lived in a house with her brother Sammy and her parents Cholly and Pauline Breedlove who had an extremely negative relationship, which included constant bickering and physical violence with one another. Pecola’s mothers’ insensitivity and unloving attitude toward her children, combined with Cholly Breedlove’s rage of constant violence, resulted in Pecola having no sense of home within her house. Pecola living in a time and place where African Americans were not equally accepted in society was a big enough struggle for a young girl to face on a day to day basis in the world outside of her house, but Pecola’s struggles only continued when she went “home” every day. “In the first scene in which the ironically named Breedlove family is presented to the reader, Pecola’s parents, Pauline and Cholly, are engaged in violent combat brought on by “inarticulate fury and aborted desires” (TBE 31). While their son screams at his mother “Kill him! Kill him!” eleven-year-old Pecola tries to make herself disappear. She tries to imagine away every limb in her body, literally erasing her physical presence. She finds, however, that she cannot erase her eyes. This may imply to the reader that she cannot extract herself from the harsh realities of her home…She prays continuously for blue eyes…maybe her parents would be different: “Maybe they’d say ‘Why look at pretty-eyed Pecola. We mustn’t do bad things in front of those pretty eyes”’(34). (pg.389) (Naomi Rokotnitz). This criticism of The Bluest Eye exemplifies the specific struggle of heartache that Pecola Breedlove struggled with constantly when seeing the two people that gave her life relentlessly fighting with one another. Pecola, as any other eleven-year-old girl, wanted more than anything to come “home” to an environment of love, serenity, and a sense of security. But, she instead would go “home”, to an environment of anger, chaos, and danger.

Cholly and Pauline Breedlove suffered through difficulties themselves during their childhood, such as family abandonment and social embarrassment. One can come to the conclusion that perhaps sometimes when a parent goes through a traumatic childhood themselves, they are likely to bring it upon their own children, such as the Breedloves did. “Through Cholly and Pauline, Morrison suggests...
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