Toni Morrison's The bluest eye / edited and with an introduction by. Harold Bloom . p. cm. — (Bloom's guides). Includes bibliographical references and index. In The Bluest Eye, Morrison expands a conventional literary genre: the The Bluest Eyes traces the growing up of Pecola and Claudia, two ordinary. We don't need to tell you anything more but the fact that today's summary is a story about a black year girl back in the s to make you.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Portuguese|
|ePub File Size:||24.36 MB|
|PDF File Size:||15.43 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Regsitration Required]|
The Bluest Eye. Toni Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor of Humani- ties, Emeritus at Princeton University. She has received the. National Book Critics. eBooks THE BLUEST EYE A NOVEL TONI MORRISON ACCLAIM FOR Toni Morrison '[Toni Morrison} may be the last classic American writer, squarely in the . The Bluest Eye and Sula (Cliffs Notes) · Read more Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations) · Read more.
Books, Audiobooks and Summaries. Why is Maureen Peal so well-liked and admired at school? Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Work with a classmate if you want. Pecola
Of course she ended up marrying someone who was quite the opposite of what she dreamed a romantic partner is. Cholly was left near the train tracks when he was just four days old.
Fortunately, his great aunt Jimmy takes care of him; unfortunately, the day she dies is the day he experiences a humiliation which will leave a scar on much stronger men than him. Namely, as he has sex for the first time with a girl named Darlene, two white men flash them and force them to continue making love while they are watching them.
Because back in the present, as she is one day doing the dishes, Cholly rapes her daughter Pecola. Which makes for an even more painful reading the second time it happens.
Especially since this time, it leads to Pecola being pregnant. The dog does alright — but only because the food Soaphead Church gives Pecola to feed the dog with is previously poisoned by him.
Like this summary? For those of you who want to learn something new daily, 12min App takes you on a personal development journey with the key takeaways from the greatest bestsellers. This made her feel separated from other Abuses his wife and children.
Is there anything ironic Sammy Pecola Suffers the onset of puberty, racial harassment, rape and incest. Elihue Micah Whitcomb: Married and left by Velma. Has abused girls in the past and uses Pecola for his own benefit. Church and Maureen Peal have Her family epitomizes the black middle class which has become far distanced from its black roots and looks down on in common?
And how close to middle-class aspirations? Claudia 1. Why are readers intrigued by it? How does Claudia react when she sees a blue-eyed baby doll?
How does Frieda feel about her Shirley Temple cup? How does Pecola react when she first had her period? How did Cholly react when two white men surprised him in some bushes, while he was engaged in a sexual encounter with a country girl?
Pecola 7. Why did Pecola pray for blue eyes? Why did Mr. Yacobowski fail to see Pecola when she entered his store? Why does Pecola think of dandelions in connection with herself? Why is Maureen Peal so well-liked and admired at school? Maureen Peal Why is Pecola agitated when Maureen states that seeing your father naked would be dirty?
Why is Maureen Peal considered pretty, while the black girls are not? Which film features a girl whose name is Pecola?
Geraldine Frieda What happens after Mr. Henry touched Frieda? What did her father do? Pecola and Pauline Why is it wrong for Pecola to hear her mother being called Polly rather than Mrs. Why did Pauline react when Pecola let go of the pan that contained blueberry juice? Why did Pauline give so much importance to her crooked foot? What do these journeys stand for? Pauline thinks nothing can go wrong there; yet, she has a rough time from the beginning.
How does she react to the fact that there are many white folks? Why does she want to look like Jean Harlow? Who is that woman? Why did she settled down to just being ugly while she was expecting her baby? Why does Pauline become the ideal servant for the Fishers? Who raised Cholly? What explains this change of attitude? Cholly meets his father, who fails to recognize him. How does this affect him? Why, do you think, did this happen? Is there any connection between these two scenes?
Why is there this parallelism between Darlene and Pecola? Soaphead Church JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive.
We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. Indiana State University and St. Notes on History, Conmmunity, and Black Female Subjectivity n Toni Morrison'sTheBluestEye,the Breedloves'storefront apartmentis gracedoverheadby the home of thueemag- Jane Kuenz is a doctoral nificentwhores, each a tributeto Morrison'sconfidencein the ef- candidatein the Department ficacy of the obvious.
The novel's unhappy convergenceof his- of Englishat Duke University. Poland, China,the and presented papers on MaginotLine. With these characters,Morrisonliteralizesthe theoriesof cultural at WaltDisney identification novel's overall conflationof blackfemale bodies as the sites of fas- Worldand women's poetryof cist invasions of one kind or another,as the terrainon which is the HarlemRenaissance.
TheBluestEyeas a whole documents this invasion-and its concomitanterasureof specificlocal bodies, histories,and culturalproductions-in termsof sexuality as it intersectswith commodity culture.
Furthermore,this mass cultureand, more generally,the commodity capitalismthat gave rise to it, is in large part responsible-through its capacityto ef- face history-for the "disinterestedness"that Morrisoncondemns throughoutthe novel.
Beyond exemplifying this, Morrison's projectis to rewritethe specific bodies and historiesof the black Americanswhose positive images and storieshave been eradi- cated by commodity culture. She does this formallyby shifting the novel's perspectiveand point of view, a narrativetacticthat enablesher, in the process, to representblack female subjectivity as a layered, shifting,and complex reality.
The disallowance of the specific cultures and histories of African-Americansand black women especially is figured in The BluestEyeprimarilyas a consequenceof or sideline to the more generalannihilationof popular forms and images by an ever more all-pervasiveand insidious mass culture industry.
This in- dustry increasinglydisallows the representationof any image not premised on consumptionor the productionof normativevalues conducive to it. These values are often rigidly tied to gender and are race-specificto the extent thatracialand ethnic differencesare not allowed to be represented. One lesson from history, as Susan Willis reiterates,is that "in mass culture many of the social con- tradictionsof capitalismappear to us as if those very contradic- tions had been resolved" "IShop" Among these contradic- tions we might include those antagonismscontinuing in spite of capitalism'sbenevolent influence,along the axes of economic privilege and racialdifference.
Accordingto Willis, it is because "all the models [in mass culturalrepresentation]are white'- either in fact or by virtue of their status as "replicants.
In other order to counteractthe oppressiveness words, economic, racial,and ethnic dif- of the present and, in the process, to ferenceis erased and replacedby a delimit the chance of dissatisfactionor purportedlyequal ability to consume, unrest and encourage unquestioning even though what is consumed are laborat the same time.
If so, it also more or less competing versions of the tempts, as these tacticsalways do, the same white image.
The comparison Thereis evidence of the presence of theirlives to Dick and Jane'sseem- and influence of this process of erasure ingly idyllic ones will breed, among and replacementthroughoutTheBluest those unaccountedfor in mass Eye.
Forexample, the grade school culture'srepresentations,resentment reader that prefacesthe text was and and class consciousness instead. That in many places still is a ubiquitous, this is not the result for most of the mass-producedpresence in schools charactersin TheBluestEye,as it is not across the country.
Its widespread use for most people in general,bespeaks made learningthe pleasuresof Dick the extent to which mass culturehas and Jane'scommodified life made the process of self-deniala dangerouslysynonymous with learn- pleasurable experienced Indeed, as I ing itself. Its placementfirst in the hope to show later, this process is ex- novel makes it the pretextfor what is plicitly sexual in TheBluestEyeand of- presentedafter: As the seeming given fers, particularlyfor women, the only of contemporarylife, it stands as the occasion for sexual pleasure in the only visible model for happiness and novel.
In , and no mass culturefor anyone not repre- less so today, this would include a lot sented therein, and especially for of people.
Even so, white lower-class African-Americans,frequentlyre- childrencan at least more easily im- quires abdicationof self or the ability agine themselves posited within the to see oneself in the body of another. Forblack The novers most obvious and per- children this possibility might require vasive instance of this is in the seem- a double reversalor negation: Where ingly endless reproductionof images the poor white child is encouragedto of femininebeauty in everyday objects forget the particularsof her presentlife and consumer goods: In other cuteness and because Claudiaand words, she must not see herselfatall.
Friedarecognize them as such. But The effortrequiredto do this and the Claudiaand her sister can recognize damaging results of it are illustrated "the Thingthat made [Maureen]beauti- typographicallyin the repetitionof the ful and not [them]" 62 only in terms Dick-and-Janestory firstwithout of its effectson other people. The innocenceof this question brighterf they cannot ignore how "the parallelsthe delight with which honey voices of parentsand aunts, the claudia revels in her own body's obedience in the eyes of [their]peers, myriad substancesand smells.
While the slippery light in the eyes of [their] women like Geraldineare quick to dis- teachers" all pour out to the patch with "funk"wherever it "crusts MaureenPeals of the world and not to 68 ,Claudiais fascinatedwith her them Fromthe responses of other own body's sometimes graphically people to girls like Maureenand nauseatingmateriality: She is cap- others for whom ShirleyTemple is the tivated by the menstrualblood her model, the sisters learn thefact of their sisterhurries to wash away; she own lack, variously identified as ugli- studies her own vomit, admires the ness or "unworthiness,"if not the es- way it "[clings]to its own mass, refus- sence of it.
And so what? This process-. She goes on explicitly to fusion about the source of her failure equate "worshiping"ShirleyTemple to arouse "honey voices" and "slip- with "delighting"in cleanliness She is still at the in how she experiencesit and the level of sensation,not prohibitionor simultaneoustransformationof her enforced definition: Insteadof "asking psyche is learnedand achieved the rightquestions"about her sister's throughcommoditieslike the Shirley near molestation,for example, Claudia Templecups that proscribeap- wants to know what it feels like to pearanceand behaviorin accordance have breastsworth touching and to with the images they project.
Claudia have them touched The consequences of this es- commodities, as Pecola'sbelief that she timation,repeatedas it is continually can simply acquireblue eyes indicates.
When these images of femininity Morrison others-Mr. Yacobowski, in American society was her teachers,etc. This co-optationwas low, and, again, ShirleyTemple is to facilitated by the migration of reintroduceand exaggerate,as it does African-Americansin the first half of for PaulineBreedlove, 'the most this centuryand the end of the last to destructiveideas in the history of Northern, usually industrial,towns human thought" 97 -romantic love like Lorain, a process that accelerated and physical beauty, each defined ac- the separationof families and friends cording to what they exclude and each as it removed them fartherfrom destructiveto the extent that they are whatever common culture existed in made definitionallyunavailable.
After the ruralSouth Willis, Specifying waiting out two pregnanciesin the In the absenceof a network of dark shadows of the silver screen, community membersready to step Pauline "was never able. Among and alienated in their present are more these faces to which she can'thelp but likely to look elsewhere for self-affirm- assign a pre-determinedvalue is her ing context.
Fishersays, " 'I would its own continued existence, even, in- rathersell her blueberrycobblersthan deed especially, at the expense of alter- real estate' " Finally,it is easier nate culturalforms.
Although she has for Pauline to ignore the fact that both few fond memoriesof her childhood, the name and the anecdotes are conde- it is her early marriedlife in Lorain scending and exemplativeof her sub- that Pauline remembersas the " 'lone- ordinate,and ultimatelyoutsider, somest time of my life.
It was hardtoget toknow  than to do without the "power, folks up here,and I missedmy people. I praise,and luxury" she finds weren'tused to so muchwhitefolks.
The there. Up north they was everywhere-next "power,praise,and luxury"is, of door,downstairs,alloverthestreets-and course, the movies, and, unfortunate- coredfolksfewandfarbetween. Northern ly, it is to them that Pauline turns for coloredfolkwas differenttoo.
They few blackwomen she has met in couldmakeyoufeeljust as no-count,'cept I didn'texpectitfrom them. It is at the movies that Pauline day jobs in the homes of "nervous, learns to equate "physicalbeauty and pretentious"people and to the movies.
As a andtheyall dressedup in bigclean child in Alabamaand especially Ken- houses'" 97 ,Pauline finds it increas- tucky, Pauline "liked,most of all, to ar- ingly difficultto returnto her own life range things. To line things up in and, as a result,"moreand more Likethe Dick-and-Jane leaves She missed-without know- story, Pauline'smovies continuously ing what she missed-paints and presenther with a life, again crayons" But it is not until her presumablyideal, which she does not job at the Fishersthat Pauline can now have and which she has little, if again "arrangethings, clean things, any, chanceof ever enjoying in any line things up in neat rows It was her nate images which might validate and pleasure to stand in her kitchenat the endorse a kind of virtue not tied to end of a day and survey her hand- physical beauty or ones offeringcom- iwork" Moreover,her job with peting definitionsof beauty itself, and the Fishersprovides her with the in the absenceof a network of family semblanceof acceptanceand com- and friends,especiallywomen friends, munity she cannot find or createin her whose own lives would provide a dif- own home and neighborhood.
Henry, for or experiencedas to what is. Claudia, example, when first moving into the for example, fostersa brutalhatredfor MacTeers'home, greets Claudiaand her white baby dolls not just because Friedawith, " 'You must be Greta they don't look like her but because Garbo,and you must be Ginger the gift of them is supposed to replace Rogers' 17 , thus reducing them to and somehow improve upon what she type in a kind of objectificationwhich, would really preferfor Christmas: