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The Bluest Eye

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Essay title: The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye

Beauty is said to be in the eyes of the beholder, but what if the image of beauty is forced into the minds of many? The beauty of a person could be expressed in many different ways, as far as looks and personality goes, but the novel The Bluest Eye begs to differ. It contradicts the principle, because beauty is no longer just a person’s opinion but beauty has been made into an unwritten rule, a standard made by society for society. The most important rule is that in order to be beautiful, girls have to look just like a white doll, with blue eyes, light pink skin, and have blond hair. And if they’re not, they are not beautiful. Pecola, one of community’s ugly children, lives life each day wanting to be accepted. “The wider community also fails Pecola. Having absorbed the idea that she is ugly and knowing that she is unloved, Pecola desperately wants the blue eyes that she understands will make a child lovable in American society”(Kubitschek 35). In The Bluest Eye, Morrison argues that the black females in society have been forced to accept the blond hair blue eyed image as the only beauty that exists

Little girls in Lorain had it set in their heads that they should all grow up owning a blond haired and blue-eyed doll, also know as Shirley Temple. These images were placed in their minds, making them feel as if they had to live up to the expectations by going with the crowd, and letting their surroundings influence them. “ Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs- all the world had agreed that a blue-eye, yellow haired, pink-skinned doll was every girl child’s treasure”(Morrison 20). Society sees Shirley Temple as the angelic picture perfect child, and anything that’s not Shirley Temple, they are considered to be ugly. The Shirley Temple face is the cause of Pecola being hypnotized and it’s the reason for her to drink three whole quarts of milk. It isn’t because she is lacking milk or due to sheer greediness, it is because “ …she was fond of the Shirley Temple cup and took every opportunity to drink milk out of it just to see and handle sweet Shirley’s face”(Morrison 23). Another blond beauty that girls look up to and imitate is Mary Jane. Mary Jane’s face is on the wrapper of each piece of candy, the ones that Pecola bought for three pieces a penny. When Pecola goes to buy the Mary Jane candy, she doesn’t see just a piece of candy that would end her cravings, but she sees an image of someone she admires, adores and someone she wants to be. She realizes that her problems are not as important because in her hand, she holds nine pieces of Mary Jane candy. The Mary Jane candy seems to be making every disappointment in life become something more attractive, something better. “ A picture of little Mary Jane, for whom the candy is named. Smiling white face. Blond hair in gentle disarray, blue eyes looking at her out of a world of clean comfort…She eats the candy, and its sweetness is good. To eat the candy is somehow to eat the eyes, eat Mary Jane. Love Mary Jane. Be Mary Jane”(Morrison 50). Pecola is more than obsessed with these full- blown artificial images, making it obvious that she is unstable about her appearances, therefore, wanting to replace it with something that she believes is better (Weever 3/5). All over town, there are many little girls just like Pecola, buying into the products of Shirley Temples and Mary Jane.

Although there are many different characters in this novel that are affected by the great advertisement of the beauty of a female in society, Pecola is the one to end up being insane due to the images- the image that she couldn’t possibly attain. Pecola grew up believing that she was born into an ugly family, making her ugly also. The ugliness wasn’t just from the window signs and newspapers, it was from her family and her neighbors. Therefore, she seeks the next best thing in her life, to have those blue eyes of a white girl, thinking that it would make her life exceptional. “ The desire for blue eyes is part of the inverted quality of her world; in wanting blue eyes, Pecola wants in fact to be white”(Weever 3/5).

With the blue eyes, Pecola wants to stand out; she wants to be beautiful and white rather than being black and ugly. She longs for a pair of beauteous blue eyes that would separate her from the ugly blacks. Even though Pecola wishes to walk away from her people, she also wants to be accepted by her people. She wants the best of both worlds; the blue eyes so she could be “beautiful” and the acceptance of her black friends, Claudia and Frieda. She constantly tries to be on Claudia and Frieda’s good side, by being their friend. Pecola is torn between the two cultures, her own and the one she dreams of joining. Her life is something that she wants to change, badly.

Instead of improving from Pecola’s

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