Bluest Eye

Contempt and Descent in The Bluest Eye 11th Grade

In Toni Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye, Morrison examines what the degradation of people, by society, can result in. She sets her story in Lorain, Ohio in the 1940’s, which is a society with white ideals and standards of beauty. Morrison demonstrates the effect such racist ideals can have on the people who do not live up to them, through her authentic style, her honest language, her ability to relate to her readers, and her specific structure which persuasively points the blame at not only society, in general, but the readers themselves. Using examples of both characters who fall victim to the society, and other characters who attempt to protest the unfair ideals, Morrison creates a moving story of the mental breakdown of a vulnerable girl, and the society and world which allowed her to descend.

The honesty of Morrison’s writing in The Bluest Eye, which is blunt and occasionally vulgar, is crucial to the development of the society in which the novel is set, and also to the development of characters and descriptions of their actions. The blunt approach which Morrison takes in The Bluest Eye commonly causes sentences to be direct and simple. However, there are also, at certain points, detailed descriptions and complex ideas, but...

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