Destructive Force in Beauty (the Bluest Eye)

Topics: Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, Eye color Pages: 3 (1138 words) Published: May 7, 2007
The Destructive Force in Beauty

Beauty is dangerous, especially when you lack it. In the book "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison, we witness the effects that beauty brings. Specifically the collapse of Pecola Breedlove, due to her belief that she did not hold beauty. The media in the 1940's as well as today imposes standards in which beauty is measured up to; but in reality beauty dwells within us all whether it's visible or not there's beauty in all; that beauty is unworthy if society brands you with the label of being ugly. In the 1940's as well as present day, the media pushed on society an image of perfection and beauty. This image is many times fake, but the naive cannot deceive, and it can become an icon of beauty. If you do not fall within the image then you are ugly. In the book "The Bluest Eye," we witness the power that the media has on specific characters: Pecola Breedlove, Claudia and Frieda MacTeer. The icon of beauty at that point in time is Shirley Temple, a white girl with blond hair and blue eyes. She is also the first reference to beauty in the book. Claudia explains her feelings towards Shirley Temple by saying, "...I had felt a stranger, more frightening thing than hatred for all the Shirley Temples of the world" (19). Claudia is relating the hatred that she felt towards Shirley Temple to the envy she has towards girls who are beautiful like Shirley. Claudia herself knows that the media is trying to imply this image she says, "Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs—all the world had agreed that a blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned doll was what every girl child treasured" (20). This idea is repeated repetitively throughout the story, the idea that blue-eyed is beautiful. Frieda and Pecola love Shirley Temple while Claudia despises her with envy. Pecola once goes to purchase some candies called Mary Janes, she is very intrigued by the blue-eyed, blond girl in the wrapper. The narrator tells us that Pecola...

Cited: Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York: Penguin Group, 1994.
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