Bluest Eye

The Music and Silence of The Bluest Eye

Among Toni Morrison's works, "images of music pervade her work, but so also does a musical quality of language, a sound and rhythm that permeate and radiate in every novel" (Rigney 8). This rhythmic style of writing is particularly evident in The Bluest Eye. There is a struggle between musical language and silence throughout the novel. Song is a part of the instruction of Blackness and femaleness that Claudia and Frieda learn from their mother. Pauline can not find comfort in song. Cholly's life is like a musician where he feels dangerously free. The conversations with the prostitutes are the only things that give Pecola a sense of laughter, instead of her continuous silence. Even the town has a rhythmic language. Through the language of music, Morrison is able to convey the complexity of the Black way of life.

Morrison can "move beyond language, even while working through it, to incorporate significance beyond the denotation of words, to render experience and emotion, for example, as musicians do" (Rigney 7). Music can be an important part of a text because it gives a sense of a rhythmic pattern that a reader can follow along with. Music is a style, a sound, a feeling, and an expression. Music can be...

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