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Literary Elements in The Bluest Eye

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The Effectiveness of Literary Elements in Autumn In 1970, Toni Morrison published an intense novel, The Bluest Eye, to show the world the effects that internal racism had on African American families during the 1940s. The novel begins during the month of autumn, a time of confusion, contempt, and corruption in the life of the young narrator, Claudia. In the course of this portion of the story, Morrison eloquently portrays the potential effectiveness of literature through her master use of literary elements. Setting, mood, tone, and imagery are among the most prominent elements used to convey the harshness of the character's lives in this rather contentious plot. During the course of autumn, Morrison takes the reader through the numerous settings in the lives of the novel's characters, including the McTeer home, the Breedlove Apartment, and the whorehouse directly above the apartment. All of which are located in Lorain, Ohio. The McTeer house, home to Mr. ...read more.


In addition to the severe descriptions of her novel's setting, Morrison reveals the character's innermost beings with an evident mood of embitterment within the first portion of, The Bluest Eye. It is a mood most powerfully conveyed through Pecola's utter contempt toward the white race. It first made apparent to the reader when Pecola arrives to the McTeer home and drinks milk from the Shirley Temple cup. Drinking all three quarts of the family's supply of milk, Pecola cannot seem to get enough of to drink. Or, is it that she continues to drink the white goodness in hopes of changing her chocolate skin into the beautiful fair complexion of the young child star featured on the cup? Claudia reveals her resentment toward little Temple when she sneeringly drifts into jealous thoughts about the golden-locked girl dancing with her dearest Bojangles. The reader encounters this same attitude in Claudia as she dismembers a toy doll in an effort to figure out what the blue-eyed beauty attained that made it so loveable. ...read more.


Imagery is another enlightening literary device implemented by Morrison. Claudia's puking incident in the opening of the novel is the first crude picture the reader is given of the realities of the McTeer's lives. Though it is quite the gruesome portrait, Morrison successfully gets the message of the family's harsh situation across early in the novel. Imagery can also be found in the repetitive descriptions of the blonde haired, blue-eyed white population. Morrison's exaggerated reflections of Pecola's appearance shows the reader that the characters were so consumed with their lack of self-worth that they are blinded from the truth. The use of imagery in the novel shows the extent to which the African American race suffers with internal racism during the course of autumn. The Bluest Eye draws a horrific, yet realistic picture of the mark that internal racism left on America in the 1940s. Morrison effectively portrays this portrait by the use of various literary elements. The most frequently and prominently used in her novel are setting, mood, tone, and imagery. ?? ?? ?? ?? 2 ...read more.

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