Bluest Eye

A Deviation of Expectations in Toni Morrison’s “The Bluest Eye” College

Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye depicts a chilling tale of a young girl’s experience with racism following The Great Depression. While the span of the novel is divided into four seasons, “Autumn,” “Winter,” “Spring,” and “Summer,” it is through the characters’ experiences that we see its failure to actually meet the traditional expectations of these seasons. Morrison’s framing of time through the use of natural seasons serves as a juxtaposition to illuminate the unnaturalness of her characters’ lives.

Morrison begins the novel with the season of “Autumn,” a traditional time of crisp air, harvesting, and beautifully coloured leaves falling from tree limbs, however these expectations are quickly undermined through the experiences of her characters. We can first notice a juxtaposition of the beauty of autumn which, in this case, serves to illuminate the Breedlove family’s ugliness. In a revealing introduction of the Breedlove family, Morrison’s primary narrator, Claudia MacTeer, remembers the appearance of the Breedloves’ storefront house which would “foist itself on the eye of the passerby in a manner that is both irritating and melancholy” (32). Claudia suggests that the storefront was not a temporary place of residence for the...

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