The Bluest Eye
The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison's first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author's girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio, it tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be a...more
Popular Answered Questions
I always thought that it was "eye" instead of "eyes" because it is a…more Note: this answer isn't official in any way, just what I thought when reading it.
I always thought that it was "eye" instead of "eyes" because it is a homonym to "I", as in a person - in this case Pecola Breedlove. She doesn't actually want the blue eyes for the sake of having blue eyes, she wants them for the positive treatment she sees people with blue eyes getting (rather than her brown ones), so, in a manner of speaking, it's herself that she wants to become blue. "The Bluest Eye", with its superlative of "blue", indicates her deep-rooted desire to change, to become the most different version of herself possible, since she hates her current self.
I always thought it was also significant that blue is a color typically associated with depression and unhappiness, something Pecola is closely acquainted with. The color can also be associated with intelligence, signifying Pecola's desperation to overcome her social situation to such an extent that she ignores logic and embraces the impossible instead, that she should magically be given blue eyes. Innocence is another theme tied to the color blue.
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And there it sat between us, this knowledge of his disdain for women writers (for some hitherto unknown reason), like ...more
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
N.B. - Before I ge ...more
I'm rereading Morrison's books in chronological order in 2016 and I created a private group here on Goodreads for a few of us who are interested in doing the ...more
I know now that the answers to those two questions were no and no. What Morrison wanted us t ...more
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
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
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
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
“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 ...more
The bluest ...more
That being said, I strongly disliked the execution of this story. Nothing in this book inspires hope; it's 100% full of brutality, loss, heartbreak and lots of other heavy and heart-breaking topics, and to be honest, I felt like it was way too ov ...more
It pretty much goes without saying that Morrison's writing was beautiful, but it was also m ...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Me: What is your take on physical beauty?
Toni: The Idea of Physical Beauty - "Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought."
Me: Why do you say so?
Toni: "Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do."
As I prepare the next question, Toni asks to be excused saying she had already spoken much. As an aside almost, she advised me to read her The Bluest Eye.
Then, I read the novel. And, now I can say that the sen ...more
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
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
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Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best k ...more