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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 read this novel in an English Literature course, for my BA. It has become a favorite. Ms. Morrison is an extremely gifted writer. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Andrea
This, for me, was a true horror story of how violence & evil persists in silence. Speak up when there is injustice.Published 16 days ago by Karen Lee
What can you write about Toni Morrison that hasn't been written already. She is a true master of literature and there are very few people in the world male or female who has the... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Caglevision
This book is filled with so much tragedy and heartache. It jumped around too much for me.....I couldn't follow the story and stayed confused.Published 1 month ago by Kelly A. Redman
I watched a life class episode by Oprah and she mentioned this book. I have always been a huge fan of her books and this is no different. Read morePublished 1 month ago by M. Williams
I got the book which does not meet the description at all. I ordered the vintage international version, but I got a much order, purple cover, 1994 one. Huh, not good.Published 1 month ago by Xuan
I had to read this book for my race class and it was a really good story that has a more complex meaningPublished 1 month ago by Yocelin
I would give it zero stars if possible. This was such a boring book. I tried to stay with it but could only get ten percent in before giving up in disgust and boredom.Published 1 month ago by Dawn
The book was great for the purpose it was intended. The price for this text book was cheaper on-line then it was in the school book store. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ashlee Forde