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In the novel The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison writes of a community in Lorain, Ohio in the years after the Great Depression. The main character in the story, Pecola Breedlove, is a young black girl who is plagued by insecurity and self-loathing from not havi

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Introduction

Jason Levine English 2025 - 20 Short Response Essay 2 In the novel The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison writes of a community in Lorain, Ohio in the years after the Great Depression. The main character in the story, Pecola Breedlove, is a young black girl who is plagued by insecurity and self-loathing from not having white skin. The community she lives in is also overwhelmed with the same notions and ideals. The blacks in the community do not like their darker skin because they see it as ugly, which most likely stems from the racial sentiments and loathing of blacks by whites in America after the Civil War. The blacks in this town have adopted the whites' dislike of black people, the mentality of the country at this time is "white is right." So instead of black people hating themselves, they can hate the individuals with the darker complexion. In this case, Pecola is described in the novel as having the darkest skin and the most ugly in the town because of her darker skin than others and all hatred of dark skin is externalized from the black community and directed toward her. ...read more.

Middle

Pecola and one of the MacTeer girls expresses that Shirley Temple is the most beautiful girl in America and the symbol of beauty, white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. This is when we find out that Pecola's one wish in the whole world is to have blue eyes so that everyone will think she is pretty and not hate her so much. One day at school the two MacTeer girls are walking with the newest student at their school, Maureen Peal. Maureen is a relatively wealthy light-skinned girl that is popular and well liked in the school because she has lighter skin than everyone else. Everybody treats her different and she reinforces this by being a little arrogant toward the darker-skinned girls when she wants to. The two MacTeer girls and Maureen see Pecola getting teased and pushed around by boys after school and Maureen stops them because they do not want to tease Pecola in front of a light-skinned girl. When Pecola is returned to her family the abuses by Cholly do not stop, in fact they get worse. ...read more.

Conclusion

She loses touch with reality at the end of the story because her fragile mind cannot handle what has happened to her and she has conversations with herself. "The birdlike gestures are worn away to a mere picking and plucking her way between the tire rims and the sunflowers, between Coke bottles and milkweed, among all the waste and beauty of the world-which is what she herself was. All of our waste which we dumped on her and which she absorbed. And all of our beauty, which was hers first and which she gave to us" (p. 205). This sums up Claudia MacTeer's thought on Pecola's mental state at the end of the novel. The town dumped all its waste on Pecola because she was an easy target. She became mentally unstable because no one except for Cholly showed her love, even if it was misdirected and even though "his touch was fatal, and the something he gave her filled the matrix of her agony with death" (p. 206). Pecola's instability in the end protects her from the lack of love from the community and her family. We see why she does not talk much and why she wants blue eyes, so people will think she is beautiful and will love her. ...read more.

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