The Bluest Eyes Essay

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In the novel, The Bluest Eyes, by Toni Morrison, there are a lot of different issues that arise. The one thing that stood out the most to me was the sort of racism that goes both ways, throughout the book. Toni Morrison brings out the racism from the 1950’s and shows that "It is the blackness that accounts for, that creates, the vacuum edged with distaste in white eyes" Pecola, driven to want blue eyes by her observations that is is those with blue who receive and thus "deserve" love, eventually loses her mind after she experiences repeated violence at home, at school, and on the street. These violences are all rooted in racism. Pecola begins to believe the lie of racism: that to be black is to be "ugly," undeserving, and unloved. It is Shirley Temple and the Mary Jane on the wrapper of the candy by that name who are the models of lovable girls in Pecola's world. 

Pauline Puyat, a mixed blood Chippewa Indian, sees herself through the eyes of whites and thus learns to hate herself, desperately attempting to claim only her "half white." She has a vision of Jesus who "tells" her that "despite (her) deceptive features, (she) was not one speck of Indian but wholly white. He himself had dark hair although His eyes were blue as bottleglass, so I believed" (137). Alienated from her culture, she joins a convent and, in addition to working much mischief within the Anishinabe community, she adopts an acetic way of life that becomes increasingly self-mutating. Pauline believes that she is "hollow unless pain filled" her (193). 

Both Pecola and Pauline experience a self-hatred that is the result of internalized racism. For Pecola, it manifests itself as the loss of her mind; for Pauline, it can be seen in her extreme self-mutilation. Through them, Morrison and Erdrich critique the insidious and ultimately annihilating aspects of the North American worship of white

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