Preview
Preview

Impact of Whiteness on Blacks in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 1348 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Impact of Whiteness on Blacks in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye


     Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye does not focus on direct white oppression of a black community, but rather how whiteness is ingrained in the minds of the black community and serves as a destructive force. There are few white characters introduced in the book, but whiteness and the culturally accepted ideal of whiteness as an indication or measure of beauty is ever present. Morrison's first page, The Dick and Jane story, is a clean, simple and perfect example of whiteness. Mother, Father, Dick and Jane are the family and they live in a pretty house with a cat and dog. This is whiteness. Whiteness is nice, clean, happy and simple. Turning the page we soon discover that perfect simplistic whiteness can turn chaotic and destructive. This first shocking introduction to whiteness not only foreshadows the end of the book, but is also the first of many direct examples of whiteness and its potential to consume the mind and destroy the spirit.

      Within the first few pages of the book we find Shirley Temple and a white baby doll, both pretty with their blue eyes and creamy skin. That both of these symbols of whiteness are young and introduced to little black children is very significant. Whiteness is known and begins to warp around and take hold of them from the beginning. They are never allowed to entertain or contemplate their own beauty because they are shown early on symbols of pretty and they will never measure up. White baby dolls are loved and Shirley Temple is adored while their black skin, wool like hair and brown eyes are merely tolerated. We learn from Claudia's example that the only way to keep the whiteness from destroying y...


... middle of paper ...


...whiteness is potentially damaging. It is also effective because is demonstrates how black communities self imploded if they internalized the white ideal. This is very powerful. That notion that whites did not need to by physically present but merely symbolically represented in order to undermine the stability and self-image of a black community. Whiteness then did, and does, have the power to destroy if it is internalized and accepted as the ideal--an ideal that is unobtainable and therefor all the more damaging.

Works Cited and Consulted:

Davis, Cynthia. "Self, Society, and Myth in Toni Morrison's Fiction." Draper 222.

Draper, James P., ed. Contemporary Literary Criticism. "Toni Morrison." Michigan: Gale Research Inc., 1994.

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York, New York: Plume, 1994.

Steiner, Wendy. "The Clearest Eye." Draper 239.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Discrimination in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Essay - It has been 153 years since the start of Civil War, and although it ends but it never dies. Racism is one of the most controversial issues that happened in America. The Civil War ended in 1865, but did not put an end to the suffering of African-Americans, and for more years many laws were passed that oppressed them even more. Because of their eagerness to have freedom and rights, it ended in a bloody way and many leaders of the movement were killed. They shed blood because of their devotions for their fellow men....   [tags: The Bluest Eye Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1099 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Social Issues in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay - The Bluest Eye Social Issues With The Bluest Eye, Morrison has not only created a story, but also a series of painfully accurate impressions. As Dee puts it "to read the book...is to ache for remedy" (20). But Morrison raises painful issues while at the same time managing to reveal the hope and encouragement beneath the surface. A reader might easily conclude that the most prominent social issue presented in The Bluest Eye is that of racism, but more important issues lie beneath the surface....   [tags: Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye] 562 words
(1.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Family Relationships in Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay - 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....   [tags: The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison Essays] 1780 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Bluest Eye Essay - The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison is an African American writer, who believes in fighting discrimation and segregation with a mental preparation. Tony focuses on many black Americans to the white American culture and concludes that blacks are exploited because racism regarding white skin color within the black community. The bluest eye is a story about a young black girl named Pecola, who grew up in Ohio. Pecola adores blonde haired blue eyes girls and boys. She thinks white skin meant beauty and freedom and that thought was not a subject at this time in history....   [tags: Toni Morrison] 1388 words
(4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Analysis of The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - In the novel, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison readers are taken throughout the daily lives of African Americans who are faced with numerous trial & tribulations. Already facing the harsh reality that they were inferior to the white race. There were many families throughout this story that was faced with this stigma, however it seemed that the Breedloves had it just twice as hard. A series of social problems of which African Americans were victims to during the 1940s-1060s such as Rape, interracial prejudice, and mental illness....   [tags: trail, tribulations, reality, stigma, rape] 1769 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on The Bluest Eyes, by Toni Morrison - In “The Bluest Eyes”, the author Toni Morrison portrays the idea of beauty and its standard on African Americans live in the white American society through a narrator named Claudia. The protagonist of Morrison’s novel, Pecola Breedlove, is the truest of all victims, for she is an innocent little girl born into a family that does not provide her with any support to endure society's racial prejudices. The little black girl Pecola is in a mad desire for blue eyes, which shows white-dominated culture has almost assimilated African American women and made them lost....   [tags: Standards, Beauty, Thematic Analysis] 792 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Distinctive Voice of Distress-A Study of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye Essay - In the age of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization terms like post-colonialism, ‘post modernism,’ ‘subaltern,’ ‘hybridity,’ ‘hegemony’ resound in the halls of contemporary academic seminars and conferences. These concepts are to be comprehended in terms of their impact on literature. Furthermore, several post-structuralist theories like Feminism, Marxism, marginalization-subversion of hegemonic discourse, pluralism and heterogeneity have contributed to the growth of literatures by Red Indians in Canada, Blacks in Africa, Aborigines in Australia, and Dalits in India....   [tags: dalit literature, discrimination, poverty]
:: 3 Works Cited
1184 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Bluest Eye Essay - THE BLUEST EYE The Bluest Eye is a complex book. Substance wise it is a disturbing yet relatively easy read, but Toni Morrison plays with the narrative structure in a way so that complexity is added to the hidden depth of the text. From the beginning to the end of the book, the author takes the reader through a series of point of views that take turns in narrating the story. But by the end of the book, the author leaves the reader unclear on who the actual main character of the book is. Pecola Breedlove, although never the narrator, seems to be the constant victim and equally the main character of the story....   [tags: essays research papers] 877 words
(2.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Racism in The Bluest Eye Essay - Racism in The Bluest Eye "There is really nothing more to say--except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how." When bad things happen to us, the first thing we ask ourselves is "why". Most of the time however, the answer to "why" is not readily available to us, and sometimes there is not an answer at all. Racism has been a concept which has existed from the beginning of human civilization. For some reason, the "whites" believed they were superior to everyone who was not white for a very long time....   [tags: Papers] 696 words
(2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye In the novel, The Bluest Eye, the author, Toni Morrison, tells the tragic story of Pecola Breedlove. Pecola longs for acceptance from the world. She is an innocent little girl, however, she is rejected practically by the whole world, and her own parents. Pecola endures physical and verbal abuse at home, and also at school. She is always the main character in the jokes that usually refer to her very dark skin. Her mother cherishes the white daughter of the family she works for and calls her own daughter a "rotten piece of apple....   [tags: Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye] 480 words
(1.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]