The status of women in Toni Morrison’s the bluest eye
Under the Guidance of :
Mrs. Aneela Malhotra
Place of Work
DEEMED UNIVERSITY, PUNE, INDIA.
Toni Morrison was born Chloe Anthony Wofford. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970), Critical
Recognition and praise for Toni Morrison grew with each novel. The Bluest Eye published in
1970, tells the tragic story of Pecola Breedlove, a young Black girl growing up in Morrison's
Hometown of Lorain, Ohio, after the Great Depression. Due To its unflinching portrayal of
Incest, prostitution, domestic violence, child molestation, and Racism, there have been
Numerous attempts to ban the book from libraries and schools across The United States,
some of them successful.
statement of the problem:
In the The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison writes that the novel came out of a childhood conversation
she could never forget. She remembers a young black girl she knew who wanted blue eyes, and
how, like Claudia MacTeer in the novel, this confession made her really angry. Surrounded by
the Black Is Beautiful movement of late 1960s African-American culture, Morrison decided to
write a novel about how internalized racism affects young black girls in a range of ways – some
petty and minute, some tragic and overwhelming. she focuses on the damage that the black
women characters suffer through the construction of femininity in a racialised society.
Significance of the Study:
Women do not have the same position as men, though much progress has been made in the
society to bring women to a stage where they have equal rights, equal pay, equal independence
but still it is not achieved. Though it may seem that women have a great deal of freedom and
independence, the overall condition of women in the world of today is not as it should be. Still
the bird flies with only one wing as the other is hampered and not fully functional.
Aims and Objectives:
In The bluest eye, black women are portrayed in relation to the influence they
Suffer from the white ones and from society in their search for their own selves. These
Black women are excluded from a universe of love and tenderness where the figure of
Man is a key element for their imprisonment in madness, silence, sexual oppression
And lack of hope. Silent, desperate, and isolated, these women cannot escape a life of
Unfulfilled desires. The racism inherent in both ideals destroys those who struggle to reach
Them, causing the inner destruction; sometimes this suffering leads to madness.
Scope of the Study:
Like many Afro-American feminists, Toni Morrison explores in her work motifs
Of interlocking racism, sexism and class oppression. She portrays black women as
Victims who - like in this novel - do not reach personal autonomy, especially due to
The fact that in their own homes the personal relationships are far from being
After reading The Bluest Eye, you can see how Toni Morrison helped create a space where black
women writers could talk about the horrible effects that racism, poverty, and substance abuse
can have not only on the adults who experience them but on their children as well.
The Bluest Eye forces us as readers to confront our own ideas of what counts as beautiful.
When we read the novel, do we identify with Pecola's desire to conform to the standards that
Contemporary celebrity culture tells us are beautiful?
Do we secretly or not-so-secretly want to change our bodies and our facial features to look
More attractive? Or do we, like Claudia, recoil from this idea and identify with the underdogs,
Oddballs, and people who look unique?
Do we try to change ourselves in order to fit what other people find beautiful, like Pauline? Or,
Do we scoff at beauty rules...
Bibliography: Sula , (1973)
The Bluest eye by Toni Morrison (1970)
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