Societal Expectations in The Bluest Eye 12th Grade
In her novel, The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison explores the burdens society places on its weakest members and the adverse effects they have on the individual's mental stability and self worth. Society has expectations of beauty and worth that teach the individual to be unsatisfied with themselves and strive for certain characteristics: blue eyes, blonde hair, light skin. In Pecola's case we see the judgement of society thrust upon her due to the color of her skin, her gender, and the poverty her family lives in, all of which run contrary to the American ideal of the time. The discrepancies between the perceived perfection, which no one will ever be able to live up to, and reality, fosters insecurities that are present within each of Morrison's characters. The constant barrage of preconceived notions, particularly when compared to the Breedloves, contribute to the superficial nature of society which Morrison casts a light on to further the idea that unrealistic expectations foster a mindset of imperfection that distracts from a person's inherently good nature.
Pecola and all African Americans are marginalized within the novel. Morrison writes, “Being a minority in both caste and class, we moved about anyway on the hem of life,...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 971 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7756 literature essays, 2170 sample college application essays, 323 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