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Bluest Eye, The

The Bluest Eye

pecola black novel eyes

a novel by Toni Morrison, published in 1970. The voices of Claudia, a young black girl, and an omniscient narrator describe a year in the grim life of Pecola Breedlove, a black girl from Ohio. Pecola is maddened by the disparity between her life and the images of beauty and sophistication disseminated by the hegemonic white culture. In her search for a more acceptable face, she finds this in the blue eyes of Claudia's doll. Rejected by her mother and abused by her father, Pecola meets Soaphead Church, a local seer, and begs him for blue eyes which he grants after a staged miracle. Finally blue-eyed, we are left with a fragmented Pecola living in a world of fantasy. On a larger scale the novel depicts the destruction of a black family by the forces of white, racist society. Many scenes in the novel are powerful and disturbing (Pecola's incestuous relationship with her father, for example) but Morrison's prose is never melodramatic or sentimental, and like many of her early novels the strength of The Bluest Eye lies in its treatment of family secrets.

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