Beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Essay
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Beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Some people will argue with you that there is always an ugly duckling somewhere in a family. I see it different, I see these people as unique. In Toni Morrison's book, The Bluest Eye there is the issue of being beautiful and ugly. In this essay I will discuss how Toni Morrison book The Bluest Eye initiates that during 1941 white was beautiful and black was ugly in the surrounding of two families. The issue of beauty versus ugliness is portraying through out this book. I found nine different segments of beauty in Toni Morris's book The Bluest Eye. The first part of beauty that's reflected in Morrison's book, is when Claudia is constantly faced with the society's views of beauty. The…show more content…
Pecola thought if only her eyes were blue, then her problems according to white American standards would go away, and therefore she would be beautiful and her life would be beautiful.
For one year, Pecola prays that her eyes will turn blue. Being a black little girl in a society that idolizes blonde-haired blue-eyed beauty, Pecola thinks she is ugly. Pecola stares into the mirror trying to find exactly were the ugliness comes from. She sympathizes for the dandelions because she knows what it is like to disliked. Pecola states that "they are ugly[,] [because] they are weeds" (50). She finds beauty in the weeds, because she thinks that people see her as a weed. A new little girl, named Maureen Peal, comes to Claudia and Frieda's school. Maureen is popular for her looks, which people see as beautiful. She has lighter skin and eyes than most of the other children, and everyone adores her because of this. She is looked upon as beautiful because her characteristics are somewhat more "white" than other black people's. This causes many to be jealous of her. However, Claudia and Frieda are not jealous. They see through the standards placed on beauty, and if Maureen is what is beautiful, this means that they are not beautiful according to society. When the girls are walking home from getting ice cream after school, they pass a movie theater with a picture of Betty Grable on the building. Maureen and Pecola both say that they
In Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, both racism and beauty are portrayed in a number of ways. This book illustrates many of the racial concerns which were immense issues in the 1970’s when the book was written, however not as much of issues in today’s current society.
Before you even open the book, both racism and beauty are revealed through the title of the book, The Bluest Eye. When the book was written, blonde hair and blue eyed people were the stereotypical portrayal of paramount flawlessness. Anybody that didn’t fit into this class was considered ugly. Even the dolls, such as Betsy Wetsy or Barbie dolls had the massive, round, deep blue eyes. Claudia, the narrarator, along with the other girls, looked up to these stereotypes of splendor and were also very envious of them. “I destroyed white baby dolls” Claudia said after describing the dolls with big, false blue eyes.
Even the adults admired the blue eyes, as shown when Mrs. Breedlove was working for the Fishers. She took pride to the way she kept their house, received a nickname, and comforted the little white girl, before her own daughter. When Pecola dropped the steaming blueberry pie on the kitchen floor, Mrs. Breedlove hit her daughter to the floor and calmed the young “beautiful” white girl.
Throughout the novel, Pecola was depicted as ugly because she was always miserable. She would always saunter around with a sad, grim look on her face, and rarely talked to anyone. The only time when she was content, however insane, was when she thought she had received her blue eyes towards the conclusion of the novel.
Maureen Peal was portrayed as beautiful because she was different. Maureen was a “high-yellow dream child with long brown hair braided into two lynch ropes that hung down her back. She was rich, at least by our standards, as rich as the richest of white girls, swaddled in comfort and care.” Maureen gave everyone a new light in the dead of winter, by wearing bright colors, and wearing expensive, stunning fur coats.
Toni Morrison especially integrated these themes into the novel to show that the stereotypes about blonde hair, blue eyed people were misleading, to show that all races are beautiful, and also to convey a story. These were the representations of racism and beauty when the book was published in 1970. However, society hasn’t changed very much since. There is a great deal less racism, and most races are publicized to be beautiful, however the media portrays models especially to be lean and anorexic, the stereotype of what everyone in society should look like. All men are supposed to be ripped, hairless and skinny and all women are supposed to be tall, skinny, and have long legs.
Racism and beauty played big roles throughout the novel. Toni Morrison’s intentions in writing this book were to show that racism and beauty are within the mind of the beholder.
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