“ A little black girl yearns for the blue eyes of a little white girl, and the horror at the heart of her yearning is exceeded only by the evil of fulfillment.” This quote from The Bluest Eye is the meaning of the story in a sentence. Toni Morrison is the author of this very powerful and emotional novel and through her use of symbolism, Morrison tells the story of Pecola Breedlove, an African American girl, and her struggle to achieve the acceptance and love she desires from her family and friends. The society that the story takes place in plays a factor in how Morrison conveys her symbolism. Each symbol represents something that makes being black inferior to being white (Mermann-Jozwiak 189). The use of symbolism in the novel such as the Shirley Temple cup, Pecola’s last name, the Dick and Jane examples, and the blue eyes are very important in conveying the themes of the story. Morrison does not only convey one theme, she uses the symbols to convey multiple themes that essentially reveal the one dominant theme. The theme of acceptance is the dominant theme in the novel, making everything revolve about being accepted. Perfection and beauty are important themes in the novel. Each symbol is used to represent something of beauty or perfection. Morrison utilizes beauty and perfection in her symbolism to create her major theme of acceptance through her main character Pecola. “The novel depicts the devastating mental and physical consequences of the denigration of the female body and of an inability to conform to standards of beauty in an economy where beauty is synonymous to whiteness” (Mermann-Jozwiak 192). Pecola believes that if she is similar to a white girl, she will be perfect and beautiful. She is convinced that being beautiful and perfect is the key to acceptance, what she longs for the most. The Shirley Temple cup that Pecola drinks from when staying with MacTeers after her father burns their house down, is a symbol of perfection. It also is a symbol of...
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