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Family Relationships in Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay

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Family Relationships in Morrison's The Bluest Eye

“The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, is a story about the life of a young black girl, Pecola Breedlove, who is growing up during post World War I. She prays for the bluest eyes, which will “make her beautiful” and in turn make her accepted by her family and peers. The major issue in the book, the idea of ugliness, was the belief that “blackness” was not valuable or beautiful. This view, handed down to them at birth, was a cultural hindrance to the black race.

A main theme in this novel is the influence of family relationships in the quest for individual identity. Our family or lack thereof, as children, ultimately influences the way we feel as adults, about ourselves and about others. The effects on us mold our personalities and as a result influence our identities. This story shows us the efforts of struggling black families who transmit patterns and problems that have a negative impact on their family relationships. These patterns continue to go unresolved and are eventually inherited by their children who will also accept this way of life as this vicious circle continues.

Having inherited the myth of ugliness and unworthiness, the characters throughout the story, with the exception of the MacTeer family, will not only allow this to happen, but will instill this in their children to be passed on to the next generation. Beauty precedes love, the grownups seem to say, and only a few possess beauty, so they remain unloved and unworthy. Throughout the novel, the convictions of sons and daughters are the same as their fathers and mothers. Their failures and accomplishments are transferred to their children and to future generations.

It is int...


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... son, Louis, Jr. The cat becomes her surrogate child as the blue-eyed Fisher child became the surrogate child to Pauline Breedlove. The cat will die physically as Pecola will die mentally.

Soaphead Church was a mixed black and white ancestry from the Caribbean. He inherits the need to be British and to erase all color. His schoolmaster father developed his own legacy of Anglophilia into a narrow intellectual statement of the unworthiness of man. Being a mulatto, he knew the “non-life he had learned on the flat side of his father’s belt.” Because racism prevents Soaphead from getting the job that his education merits, he gives up, he ends up with a non-life, like his father and his wife, the only person he ever truly loved, abandons him. He uses little Pecola to rid himself of the mangy dog that represents non-white, non-perfect beings whom he despises.


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