The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison


The Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison
Go To: Toni Morrison Biography

   Toni Morrison's powerful novel deals with racism and society's definition of a beautiful woman.  The main character, Pecola, is an adolescent African-American who yearns to be "beautiful".  As the novel progesses, the reader learns that Pecola bases her standard of beauty on looking like Shirley Temple(fair skin and blue eyes).  She observes how some of the girls she knows become popular because of their fair skin.  Pecola's family embodies the racism encountered by many African-Americans during the time period and is causes much conflict in her family.  Her father ends up raping her and her mother beats her for as she thought, Pecola brought the rape on herself.  Near the end of the novel, Pecola descends into madness and believes that she finally got her blue eyes.


Morrison's novel speaks out against society's emphasis on physical beauty and racism.  Both of these are portrayed in both Pecola's family life and her descent into madness.  She wanted blue eyes so much that she went insane.


David H., copyright 2002