The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, depicts characters desperately seeking to attain love through a predetermined standard of beauty established and substantiated by society. Morrison intertwines the histories of several characters portraying the delusions of the ‘perfect’ family and what motivates their quest for love and beauty. Ultimately, this pursuit for love and beauty has overwhelming effects on their relationships and their identity.
Pecola Breedlove is young black girl who believes she is ugly and longs for blue eyes. She believes the blue eyes that she adores on Shirley Temple are central to attaining beauty which will bring love and joy to her life. She believes this beauty and love will end the incessant fighting between her parents as well as stop her father from raping her. In Pecola's mind, this will make everything right in her world, will change how she is viewed by others and can alter her emotional condition. “It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes, those eyes that held the pictures, and knew the sights – if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself will be different.” (Morrison, p. 46)
Pecola becomes increasingly obsessed on attaining beauty believing that the love she so desperately longs for will follow. The more intense she becomes in her pursuit of love and beauty, the further she falls into her fantasy world, creating an imaginary friend to whom she confides her deepest thoughts. Her innocence continues to unravel by the violence surrounding her, and through her own delusions, she begins to believe she has the blue eyes she so desperately seeks. Her happiness seems to be fulfilled but at such a high cost which traps her in an inescapable world of insanity.
Morrison reflects back on Pauline Breedlove's life who is Pecola's biological mother. Pauline has a deformed foot that has created self-confidence issues for her since childhood. In one of the reflections, we see Pauline...
References: Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Publisher: Vintage (May 8, 2007).
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