Pecola-The Bluest I
Toni Morrison's Bluest Eye is a tragic narrative of how one black community loathes itself simply for not being white. Yet, even more tragic is the fact that an innocent little girl, Pecola, also comes to hate herself for not being white. She believes that only by having blue eyes can she actually be considered beautiful and that only by being beautiful can she be loved by those around her. Three critical factors, which drive Pecola to this delusional conclusion, are the media by which she is heavily surrounded, her family, and her community.
Pecola, like her mother, bases her definitions of beauty heavily on the 1940's white media by which she is bombarded. She is described as gazing "fondly at the silhouette of Shirley Temple's dimpled face" on a milk cup and admiring the visages of movie idols like Betty Grable and Hedy Lamarr (19).The media shape in Pauline and Pecola Breedlove the conviction that they could not possibly be beautiful because they were not white. They saw justification and confirmation of this notion "leaning at them from every billboard, every movie, every glance" (39).
The people who are most able to influence Pecola-negatively or positively-are those closest to her: her...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 860 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6522 literature essays, 1773 sample college application essays, 268 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in