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Set in Lorain, Ohio, in 1941, The Bluest Eye is something of an ensemble piece. The point of view is passed like a baton from one character to the next, with Morrison's own voice functioning as a kind of gold standard throughout. The focus, though, is on an 11-year-old black girl named Pecola Breedlove, whose entire family has been given a cosmetic cross to bear:
You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had each accepted it without question.... And they took the ugliness in their hands, threw it as a mantle over them, and went about the world with it.There are far uglier things in the world than, well, ugliness, and poor Pecola is subjected to most of them. She's spat upon, ridiculed, and ultimately raped and impregnated by her own father. No wonder she yearns to be the very opposite of what she is--yearns, in other words, to be a white child, possessed of the blondest hair and the bluest eye.
This vein of self-hatred is exactly what keeps Morrison's novel from devolving into a cut-and-dried scenario of victimization. She may in fact pin too much of the blame on the beauty myth: "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." Yet the destructive power of these ideas is essentially colorblind, which gives The Bluest Eye the sort of universal reach that Morrison's imitators can only dream of. And that, combined with the novel's modulated pathos and musical, fine-grained language, makes for not merely a sophisticated debut but a permanent one. --James Marcus --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I felt that the book told of too many characters and not all of them connected to Pecola.
She pines for the one thing that she thinks will help her stand out to the people who ridicule her every day as not just an ugly girl, but a person with real feelings.
Morrison's writing was so beautiful, each character's voice was so true, and the story was unforgettable.
Bluest Eye, now banned from several school districts, is an explicit depiction of rape, incest, sexual violence and pedophilia. Read morePublished 9 hours ago by Sanguine
This book never disappoints! Toni Morrison is one of my favorite authors. I love the vivid imagery and the heart rending prose... Read morePublished 2 days ago by anonymous
This book can be confusing for some readers but if read in the proper context will be a great read. One of the biggest themes to look out for in the book is Beauty. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
Boo, boo, boo, boo, boo, boo, booooo! This is not for a college student. Maybe high school, if you have no other books to read. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Paula Prentice
Toni Morrison's first novel, The Bluest Eye, deals with racism, incest, and child molestation. The story is about a year in the life of a Black girl, named Pecola, who develops an... Read morePublished 18 days ago by uni aum Entertainment
Toni Morrison's first novel is excellent. She tells a wonderful story about race, gender and class interspersed with the wisdom gained from education. She has an excellent voicePublished 24 days ago by Donna
This was a very complicated read but kept me on my toes! Had to reread some chapters but got it once I did...great bookPublished 1 month ago by maddie berger
I consider this to be a truly great first novel (underline "first"), one that I use in my literature classes. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Royce P. Grubic
Classic novel that keeps getting better. I had a chance to read this as a teen but I had forgotten about it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by NICU Nurse 21