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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 got this book in no time but the book does not look like the picture presents it to be.Published 21 hours ago by Holly Hampton
very well crafted and impelling, but some scenes could have been less explicitPublished 5 days ago by Joseph
Amazing book. It's a must-read. And it came in great condition. Just amazing.Published 9 days ago by Nicole
This is not an easy book to read in term of the content. The style of writing is poetic and such that we are not filled with pity for the character who could be termed as the... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Sanchita C
Good book but I gave it one star because it is inappropriate for 8th grade reading. This novel is a moving read...for adults. Read morePublished 28 days ago by M. Harding
I bought this for an English Class and had never really read Toni Morrison before. She weaves such visual scenes with the dialogue of her characters - fully capturing the realism... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Nancy E. Grillo
I can kind of see what Morrison was trying to do in this novel, but her method is too confusing and layered. She gets in the way of herself and her message.Published 1 month ago by Sean, Pittsburgh