Preview
Preview

Self-Hate in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye Essay

:: 5 Works Cited
Length: 2420 words (6.9 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Green      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

At a time when blue-eyed, pale skin Shirley Temple is idolized by white and black alike,
eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove desperately seeks out beauty for herself. In order to attain
beauty in her culture, Pecola must do the impossible: find white beauty. Toni Morrison shows
the disastrous effects that colorism and racism can have on a whole culture and how African-
Americans will tear each other apart in order to fit into the graces of white society. The desire to
be considered beautiful in the white world is so compelling, that the characters in The Bluest Eye
loathe their own skin color and feel shame for their culture. These feelings of self-loathing and
contempt pass on from the adults to their children, creating a continuous cycle of negativity and
self-hate.

“Here was an ugly little black girl asking for beauty…A little black girl who wanted to
rise up out of the pit of her blackness and see the world with blue eyes” (Morrison, 174). By
petitioning for white beauty, Pecola Breedlove is desperately attempting to pull herself out of the
pit of blackness. Because Pecola has dark-skin and authentic African-American features, black
and white society has conditioned her to believe that she is ugly. Pecola.s physical features
ensure her to be a victim of classical racism; classical racism being the notion that the “physical
ugliness of blackness is a sign of a deeper ugliness and depravity” (Taylor, 16). This notion
allows the mistreatment of dark-skinned people because their blackness is a link to a “dark past”
and to uncivilized ways. Pecola does not epitomize white society.s standards of beauty because
she does not have light skin and trademark blue eyes; therefore, she must be ugly and ba...


... middle of paper ...


...Melus: 19.4 (1994): 109-127. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO.
Web. 24 March 2014.

Lobodziec, Agnieszka. “Theological Models of Black Middle-Class Performance in Toni
Morrison.s Novels.” Black Theology: An International Journal 8.1 (2010): 32-52. Academic
Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 24 March 2014.

McKittrick, Katherine. “Black and „Cause I.m Black I.m Blue.: transverse racial geographies in
Toni Morrison.s The Bluest Eye.” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist
Geography 7.2 (2000): 125. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 24 March 2014.

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York: Penguin, 1970. Print.

Taylor, Paul C. “Malcom.s Conk and Danto.s Colors; or Four Logical Petitions Concerning
Race, Beauty, and Aesthetics.” Journal of Aesthetics & Art Criticism 57.1 (2000): 16-20.
Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 23 March 2014.


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








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Self-Hatred and the Aesthetics of Beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison - Self-Hatred and the Aesthetics of Beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Topic: Discuss the issues of self-hatred and the aesthetics of beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. What role do they play in the novel and how do they relate to its theme. Self-hatred leads to self-destruction… Self-hatred is something that can thoroughly destroy an individual. As it was fictitiously evidenced in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, it can lead an individual to insanity. Toni Morrison raises the idea that racism and class can detrimentally influence people’s outlook on themselves....   [tags: The Bluest Eye] 1283 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Morrison's Bluest Eye Essay: Self-Definition - In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, the struggle begins in childhood. Two young black girls -- Claudia and Pecola -- illuminate the combined power of externally imposed gender and racial definitions where the black female must not only deal with the black male's female but must contend with the white male's and the white female's black female, a double gender and racial bind. All the male definitions that applied to the white male's female apply, in intensified form, to the black male's, white male's and white female's black female....   [tags: Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye]
:: 8 Works Cited
2534 words
(7.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Essay - In The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, Pecola Breedlove attempts to measure up to the standard of beauty set by the Master Narrative: an ideological truth imposed by those in power. Pecola, persistent in her attempt to reach the convention of beauty, is never fully satisfied with herself, and quickly becomes obsessed in becoming ‘beautiful. Pecola begins to associate beauty with happiness and respect. This infinite pursuit for beauty has extremely destructive effects on Pecola’s self-esteem. By portraying Pecola’s perpetual, unrealistic endeavor to reach society’s standards and how she becomes submissive to these standards, Morrison reveals that one’s life can be overrun by viewing the world s...   [tags: beauty, self-esteem, happiness, Pecola]
:: 1 Works Cited
1162 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Discrimination in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Essay - ... This shows that she is able to stand up for her rights. Therefore, now people are able to stand up for themselves more freely unlike in the novel, where they get teased and all they can do is not do anything. Furthermore, as time went by, people learned to appreciate their own ethnicity and culture. They start to accept who they are and accept each other instead of wanting to become someone that they aren't. For instance, a friend of mine who was mixed Asian and Hispanic used to think of herself as ugly, because most of her friends who are full American always get compliments from people, while she never got a single compliment....   [tags: Bullying, Racism, Self-Esteem]
:: 1 Works Cited
930 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Essay - The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Beauty is dangerous, especially when you lack it. In the book "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison, we witness the effects that beauty brings. Specifically the collapse of Pecola Breedlove, due to her belief that she did not hold beauty. The media in the 1940's as well as today imposes standards in which beauty is measured up to; but in reality beauty dwells within us all whether it's visible or not there's beauty in all; that beauty is unworthy if society brands you with the label of being ugly....   [tags: Bluest Eye Toni Morrison] 1122 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong 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]
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Essays - The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison "And Pecola. She hid behind hers. (Ugliness) Concealed, veiled, eclipsed—--peeping out from behind the shroud very seldom, and then only to yearn for the return of her mask" (Morrison 39). In the novel The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, the main character, Pecola, comes to see herself as ugly. This idea she creates results from her isolation from friends, the community, and ever her family. There are three stages that lead up to Pecola portraying herself as an ugly human being....   [tags: Toni Morrison Bluest Eye Analysis] 952 words
(2.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Toni Morisson's The Bluest Eye Essay - Toni Morisson's The Bluest Eye Toni Morisson's novel The Bluest Eye is about the life of the Breedlove family who reside in Lorain, Ohio, in the late 1930s (where Morrison herself was born). This family consists of the mother Pauline, the father Cholly, the son Sammy, and the daughter Pecola. The novel's focal point is the daughter, an eleven-year-old Black girl who is trying to conquer a bout with self-hatred. Everyday she encounters racism, not just from the White people, but mostly from her own race....   [tags: Toni Morisson Bluest Eye Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
921 words
(2.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye One of the most prominent themes found in Toni Morrison’s acutely tragic novel The Bluest Eye is the transferal or redirection of emotions in an effort on the part of the characters to make pain bearable. The most obvious manifestation of that is the existence of race hatred for one’s own race that pervades the story; nearly every character that the narrator spends time with feels at some point a self-loathing as a result of the racism present in 1941 American society....   [tags: Toni Morrison Bluest Eye Essays] 1449 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Essay - The Bluest Eye There are many themes that seem to run throughout this story. Each theme and conflict seems to always involve the character of Pecola Breedlove. There is the theme of finding an identity. There is also the theme of Pecola as a victim. Of all the characters in the story we can definitely sympathize with Pecola because of the many harsh circumstances she has had to go through in her lifetime. Perhaps her rape was the most tragic and dramatic experience Pecola had experiences, but nonetheless she continued her life....   [tags: Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye] 1195 words
(3.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]