17 May, 2015

The Bluest Eye

Toni Morrison has a way of stating truths that both illuminate the unknown and reaffirm the understood. Universal truths. Shared truths shaped by experience that often remain unrecognizable to others, and perhaps even to the individual. In her novels, she acts as the conduit that channels such thoughts and emotions, hitting a wavelength we all share but don't seem to acknowledge. And in the Bluest Eye, Pecola Breedlove is the repository for these insights: the need to reflect perceived beauty that forges a hatred within, which subsequently fosters a hatred without. Everyone, to different capacities, can understand the frustration in being unable to adjust to fit an ideal. 
This novel explores the African American condition in 20th Century America, largely through the eyes of a little girl with dark skin. Each of the characters in the novel is marred and reformed by societal conditions and what W.E.B. Dubois referred to as "double consciousness." Morrison explores this concept, allowing it to set and spread its destructive branches that first breaks the character, then permeates through to those they touch, with the clarity that aims to inform. The Bluest Eye speaks for a particular niche of the population that is a few shades different, which is why reading this novel is not only an emotionally tasking, tragic experience-it is an enlightening one.


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