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The Bluest Eye: How Society Took Pecola’s Innocence Essay example

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The immoral acts of society raped Pecola Breedlove, took her innocence, and left her to go insane. The Random House Dictionary defines “rape” as “an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation.” The Random House definition perfectly describes what happens to Pecola over the course of the novel. From Pecola’s standpoint, society rapes her repeatedly, by their judgmental attitudes towards everything that she is; she is “ugly,” she is poor, she is black. In Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Morrison shines a critical light on society, illumining the immoral acts that it participates in, through the story of how a little girl is thrown by the wayside since she does not embody the societal ideal. Instead of one human antagonist for our protagonist, Pecola, we see most of society as the antagonist. The immoral acts of society destroy Pecola Breedlove from the inside out.
One of the first immoral acts that society introduces to Pecola is lust – lust for “whiteness”, for beauty. She is taught from a young age that beauty is one of the standards that she will be held up to. In addition, society tells her that the key of being beautiful is being white, something Pecola never can be. One of the major quotes in the book shows just how powerful common belief can be. “…they stayed there because they believed they were ugly… No one could have convinced them that they were not relentlessly and aggressively ugly,” [Emphasis added] (Pg. 28). Although, Morrison does not actually say that the Breedloves were physically ugly, she implies that society told them they were ugly, therefore they believed they were ugly. This belief came from society setting a standard that Pecola could never reach. Sadly, this poor little girl did n...


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...nd Jane” lifestyle that Morrison introduces us into, we see a poor girl that is put down and society rapes. You may think Pecola was just one horribly unlucky child, that her problems are the cause of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Yet, that is a naïve way of thinking; the evidence obviously shows that Pecola was tormented because society told everyone that she is an ugly “little black bitch”, that happened to be raped, making her even less human. Therefore, any negative event that happens to her, small or large, is something she is expected to have and she brought it on to herself. To me, the biggest argument that Morrison makes with her first novel is that society is the most powerful judge in our everyday life. If society deems use to be not worthy of its care or time, we should expect hell from it; and Pecola Breedlove is deemed not to be worthy.



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