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The Bluest Eye

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  102,150 ratings  ·  3,676 reviews
Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and stri ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 160 pages
Published June 29th 1972 by Washington Square Press (first published 1970)
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Mary McSweeney Because of a conversation that the author had with a childhood friend who was black as night but insisted that she wanted blue eyes more than…moreBecause of a conversation that the author had with a childhood friend who was black as night but insisted that she wanted blue eyes more than anything. (less)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Samadrita
Just a few days ago I happened to have a conversation with someone (quite a 'well-read' person too) who said quite casually, almost in an offhand manner, how he found books written by women 'uninteresting'. On prodding him for the reason behind his 'disinterest', he replied that 'books written by women just do not engage' him. I didn't have the heart to ask him why a second time.
And there it sat between us, this knowledge of his disdain for women writers (for some hitherto unknown reason), like
...more
brian
well, i'm experiencing severe bookface fatigue and wasn't gonna report on this until i read this cool-as-shit bookster's review:

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/36813

she checked out the reviews on amazon for the bluest eye and listed some excerpts:


"Toni Morrison is the most overrated author in America, it's only because of Oprah (the most overrated "personality" in America") that she is popular."

"You know, I know blacks have had a hard time in this world...I'm not naive...but there's a right
...more
Summer
Toni Morrison doesn't get the respect she deserves and has rightfully earned. I think that part of this has to do with the unfortunate connotations people have regarding Oprah's Book Club and part of it stems from, if not outright racism and misogyny, than the racist and misogynist assumptions that Morrison is popular only because she is a nonwhite woman, liberal guilt etc. The latter is false: Toni Morrison has won the Pulitzer and the Nobel because she is an excellent author.

N.B. - Before I ge
...more
Cheryl Kennedy
Jul 05, 2014 Cheryl Kennedy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of language; readers of America's history of race relations
THE BLUEST EYE, published in 1970, is the first novel by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. It is the story of eleven year old Pecola Breedlove, a black girl in America whose love for its blonde, blue-eyed children devalues all others.

Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that people will look at her, value her unique beauty and make her world different. It is the story of the nightmare of her yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment.

In the prefice, Morrison reco
...more
Thu
When we finished this book, about half the class--- including me--- were infuriated at Morrison for humanizing certain characters that caused Pecola to suffer the most. "Is she saying what they did was okay?! Is she telling us they weren't to blame and we should feel sorry for them?!" I remember writing my "objective" and "tone-neutral" in-class essay while trying to stifle my own feelings of resentment.

I know now that the answers to those two questions were no and no. What Morrison wanted us t
...more
Brian
Sep 03, 2013 Brian rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Bill Holtzclaw
I saw this tweet a couple of weeks ago: "Going through life white, male, middle-class and American is like playing a video game on easy mode." For those of us born into this: how many chances do we get to fuck things up and still come out just fine? An almost infinite amount, apparently.

Toni Morrison wants those of us born with that winning life-lotto combo ticket to experience the opposite of that life track in a world that encompasses, in her words, "the far more tragic and disabling conseque
...more
Connie  Kuntz
Aug 10, 2010 Connie Kuntz rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Connie by: Sylvia Hoke
Pecola. That's her name.

Her name bothered me the first time I read it. Pecola. How do you even pronounce it. It's...ugly. Slowly, but surely, I understood that was the point. Or at least a point among many wicked-but-important points in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.

Pecola herself would never be pretty, would never be understood. No one would ever be able to shorten or lengthen her name into a cute nick. Her hair, her eyes, her countenance, her life, would never be considered more than an in
...more
Aubrey
4.5/5

I had my share of body hatred while growing up, but it would be foolish to believe that a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, skinny white girl has the same problems as those who diverge in any of the four descriptives. After all, we are talking a physicality that differs in very few respects from the type idealized by the Nationalist Socialist German Workers' Party, and in the land of the whites and the home of the bleach, that phenotype means power. Just last week, one of my professors commented on
...more
Sabra
I just read this today, and the rating system really doesn't apply to my feelings, which are still fresh, on this book : "I like it" "I really liked it", etc. I have NO idea how to rate this book.

I didn't like the book. As the author herself states in the afterward, "...this is a terrible story about things one would rather not know anything about." But at the same time, the story is engrossing, I found the back stories interesting, and really fell in love with the three little girls. Though som
...more
Algernon

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

Toni Morrison's debut novel is for me a fitting illustration of the truth behind the Hemingway quote above. A painful, uncomfortable, provocative, depressing story that is nevertheless more honest and real than most of the books I've read this year. In a foreword written two decades after first publication, the author expresses some misgivings about the structure of the novel and about how Pecola, the main characte
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Cheryl
“There can’t be anyone, I’m sure, who doesn’t know what it feels like to be disliked, even rejected. Momentarily or for sustained periods of time,” Toni Morrison stated in her author note, as she explained the context of this novel. Imagine a Nobel Laureate reading her work, and then explaining her art. I listened to this via Audible and I was spellbound. Inflections with each character switch and mood, exquisite dialogue performance—I might as well have been in the same room with her.

The bluest
...more
Emily Norwood
Seriously... I have to read this book for class. I'm on page 50 and I've already had more than I can take. The symbolism is over the top and heavy-handed to the point that I can't decide whether I'm being shouted at for no reason or insulted as a dull creature incapable of understanding such things unless it is stated outright with excruciating detail. Its insistence on being so obvious with everything makes it sound pretentious, preachy, and annoying. Additionally, the overemphasis the author p ...more
Hadrian
The Bluest Eye is a short melancholy piece around a black family living in Ohio after the Great Depression. It's tragic not only because the conditions there were so bad and the emotional wounds of the family are so deep, but also because everyone seems to think this miserable state of affairs is normal, and the wounded souls produced by prejudices carry on.

The dialogue is sparse and maybe a little wooden, but the descriptions of this book are stark and magnificent. And this was Morrison's first
...more
Chrissie
Please note: I listened to the audiobook narrated by the author, not Ruby Dee.

This is a book about a child who wants to be beautiful, and that means to have blue eyes. She is black.

If you choose to read this book you should be aware that although the writing is exceptional, it is rarely cheerful:

The first twigs are thin, green and supple. They bend in a complete circle but will not break. Their delicate showy hopefulness shooting from forsythia and lilac bushes meant only a change in whipping
...more
Rashaan
Reading Morrison's first novel is like looking at America's history straight in the eye, ugly, awesome, and heart-wrenching, as real as Racism, as dark as skin, and as glorious as the plains, the mountains, and all the beauty that this land once promised. With language as pure as poetry, we learn through Faulknerian, polyphonic narrative, Morrison as predecessor to Erdrich and Fred D'Aguiar, that racism acts like a twisted and debased game of telephone. Seeds of desire, the stuff of dreams and n ...more
Kata
I have never been able to determine with my most vigorous feminist inclinations why so few female authors enthrall me. I have a rather short list of female authors that I cherish and this has always disturbed me. I am constantly on a quest to discover more female authors who meet my own personal criteria for significant and extraordinary writing.

A lot of the books I acquire are through suggestions in magazines such as the New Yorker and The Week. Both publications worth every penny in print and
...more
Zanna
Read with Feminist Book Club @FeministBC

This is my contribution to the discussion:

I think the main theme of the novel is the self-hatred produced by a racist culture. The most overt image of this is Pecola’s pathological desire for blue eyes, but it is also powerfully evident in the character of Geraldine, mother of Junior, who is one of the women who ‘come from Mobile’ and dedicate themselves to the erasure of their natural ‘funk’, and even more so in Pauline, Pecola’s mother. I found Pauline’
...more
Gorfo
This book makes people feel uncomfortable. It is a racially charged book, bursting at the seams with half a century's worth of anger and truth, that is peppered with evidence of the sexual abuse that underlies coming of age. The Bluest Eye , bears hard facts about the condition of blacks in America that are difficult for anybody to acknowledge. In a poetic and tangled tale woven from the stars themselves, Toni Morrison tackles issues of beauty, poverty and racism. Morrison challenges the idea ...more
Amy
This was the most desperately painful book I've ever read. As such, I think everyone should be required to read it.

This is part of what fiction is supposed to be. It's supposed to help us understand ourselves better, by showing us things that we are, and things that we aren't, by showing us things that have happened to us and things that have happened to others. In reading good fiction we learn about human beings in the world, and by extension, we learn to identify better with ourselves. Great f
...more
Natalie Monroe
This is the story of two African-American girls planting seeds that never grew.

This is the story of a 13-year-old African-American boy being watched by two Caucasian men as he had sex.

This is the story of an African-American girl buying candy that had a blue-eyed blond on its wrapper.

This is the story of an African-American woman who loved combing the silky, golden tresses of her Caucasian ward more than the dark hair of her own daughter.

This is the story of a little African-American girl wh
...more
Maxwell
3.5/5 stars

I found The Bluest Eye to be structurally disjointed but fluidly written. Each sentence bled into the next, urging the reader to press on amidst a heartbreaking, convicting story of rejection, self-loathing, and ultimately, complete violation. It's not easy, or particularly enjoyable, to read. But Morrison cracks open this sort of taboo topic, choosing to highlight a character whose story often goes untold: that of an ugly, black girl.

But Pecola, our main character, doesn't even get
...more
Karina E
This book definitely made me want to read more by Morrison. Her writing is captivating.
Rowena
Tragic story, beautifully written.
aPriL does feral sometimes
'The Bluest Eye' is an important novel. The subject is racial self-hatred. Though there are several individual characters that Toni Morrison, the author, was examining in this imperfect book, published in 1970, she was really looking at an entire generation of American African-Americans before WWII.

For a variety of reasons, generations of poverty, no education, no or demeaning jobs, prejudice, generations of abuse and a lower social-economic class intentionally imposed through legal and social
...more
Camille Stein


Retratos: Shirley Temple - http://ow.ly/wHWZz





Los adultos no nos hablan: nos dan instrucciones. Imparten órdenes sin facilitar información.

Adultos, niñas mayores, tiendas, revistas, diarios, escaparates, el mundo entero se había puesto de acuerdo en que una muñeca de piel rosada, cabello amarillo y ojos azules era lo que toda niña consideraba un tesoro.

Cada noche, sin falta, ella rezaba para tener los ojos azules. Había rezado con fervor un año entero. Aunque un poco descorazonada, no había per
...more
Ron Nie
Morrison's skill at writing emotively, precisely, poetically, and jarringly, all without being showy or ostentatious, is a rare, rare thing. She can sketch out an entire life, a real-feeling person in just 15 pages (as in the chapter about Elihue Whitcomb, or the descriptions of Pauline organizing the items at her employer's house).
Because of this unusual ability, when Morrison wants you to feel the wind sucked out of you, or when she wants your body to react to type on a page, you act accordin
...more
Beth
This is the first thing I have ever read by Toni Morrison and now I understand why she is one of the most lauded - and heavily awarded authors of our time. An incredibly powerful writer who doesn't waste words but wields them to invoke whatever emotion she chooses - pain, pleasure, envy, joy.

This story just packs a punch - just 200 or so pages, it's just right. Amazing detail, well worth reading.
Emmy
This book was incredible. I couldn't put it down and when I did put it down, I had to sit there and not move for a good half hour.
Paakhi Srivastava
I had been itching to read a Toni Morrison’s novel when I decided to pick this one up. I read it in parts and mostly heard the audio. On comparing the two, I find the audio performance very good, I always prefer reading.

This is a story about a seven year old African girl (Pecola) who wishes to have the bluest eye (like those of the pretty, blond, blue eyed American girls). It was Pecola’s attempt to recreate her identity, to conform, to be appreciated and to calm the self abhorrence. Yet, the s
...more
Gaijinmama
Some of my students have selected this book for reports and presentations over the years . Just to be clear, they are non-native speakers of English. Sometimes they select the book because it is short. I don't think they realize how intense it is , until they get into it, but not one has ever regretted choosing it. I require them to read at least one novel by a non-white, American, preferably-still breathing female writer, not because I personally dislike the classic Dead White Males, but becaus ...more
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Toni Morrison (born Chloe Anthony Wofford), is an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best k
...more
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“Love is never any better than the lover. ” 254 likes
“Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another--physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion.” 209 likes
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