The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison

.. bout him behind his back, and made a mockery of his name. After Cholly attempts to burn his own house down, he earns a reputation as being a scoundrel. Who, “having put his family outdoors, had catapulted himself beyond the reaches of human consideration. He had joined the animals; was indeed, an old dog, a snake, a ratty nigger” (Morrison 18).

As long as society had an idea of who this man was and what he stood for, it was impossible for Cholly to rise above them. While it is hard to make a good first impression, it is near impossible to change that impression. With that in mind he could go nowhere but down. Cholly’s ultimate downfall, occur simultaneously with the rape of Pecola: The tenderness welled up in him, as he sank to his knees, his eyes on the foot of his daughter. Crawling on all fours toward her, he raised his hand and caught the foot in an upward stroke..His mouth trembled at the firm sweetness of her flesh. He closed his eyes, letting his fingers dig into her waist.

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The rigidness of her shocked body, the silence of her stunned throat, was better than Pauline’s easy laughter had been. The confused mixture of his memories of Pauline and the doing of a wild and forbidden thing excited him, and a bolt of desire ran down his genitals, giving it length, and softening the lips of his anus. He wanted to fuck-tenderly. But the tenderness would not hold. The tightness of her vagina was more than he could bear. His soul seemed to slip down to his guts and fly out to her, and the gigantic thrust he made into her then provoked the only sound she made-a hollow suck of air in the back of her throat.

Like the rapid loss of air from a circus balloon. With this final act, Cholly lost all humanity conceivable. His search for himself ended in destruction. Pauline Breedlove, wife of Cholly, mother of Pecola, is a servant in a white household. The times she was there working for this family without any reminder of her own failures were the only times that she felt truly happy .

It was there and only there that she finally felt as if she were part of something successful. In Pauline’s search for her identity and ultimately her happiness, she learned exactly what she would have to sacrifice so that she could be content, as well as the difference between herself and the rest of society. The movie theater helped her realize the stark difference between her and other women. “Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another-physical beauty. She was never able, after her education in the movies, to look at a face and not assign it some category in the scale of absolute beauty..” (Morrison 122).

As Pauline learned what physical beauty was, she also learned for what it stood. In that time physical beauty was the ideal of Shirly Temple beauty, the equation of blond hair and blue eyes to beauty. It signified equality, happiness, worthiness, and overall comfort. If you were a white woman with those qualities living in northern America you were content, it was that simple. As Pauline learned these guidelines, she gave birth to Pecola and got a job as a black “mammy” to a white family.

She quickly learned that when she was in the company of her white family, who were equal, happy, and worthy in the eyes of society, it rubbed off on her and she felt as if she was part of all these positive virtues. On the other hand, the more time she spent with her own black family, the more time she realized how ugly, poor, and unworthy they were. It was as if “the master had said, `you are ugly people.’ They had looked about themselves and saw nothing to contradict the statement; saw, in fact, support for it leaning at them from every billboard, every movie, every glance” (Morrison 39). In coming upon this realization, Pauline has a decision to make. She could have stuck with her biological family, continued to be unsatisfied but be accepted as an equal, or she could completely give up on her own family and devote all her time, energy, and love on her white charges.

To Pauline this decision is obvious and she makes it hastily. Without a second thought she mentally leaves her family in place for her “Perfect Life”. However she fails to realize that by committing herself to a servant’s life that’s all she will ever amount to be – a black servant in a white world. Have all of the characters found their identity? Pecola Breedlove yearned for blue eyes. At the end of the book she believes that she has those blue eyes.

She believes that people treat her funny because they are jealous of her blue eyes and she has learned to happily accept that. Pecola yearned for the acceptance and love of society seen through her eyes. No matter if that acceptance and love were really there, she thought it was and therefore was able to survive. “I [Soaphead Church], I have caused a miracle. I gave her the eyes.

I gave her the blue, blue, two blue eyes.. No one else will see her blue eyes. But she will. And she will live happily ever after” (Morrison 182). Pecola found herself only by going insane.

Although Pecola is not accepted by society for reasons she does not understand, she puts her exclusion from society into terms she can comprehend. Society influences her identity. They mold her into what she becomes by not giving her the guidance and approval she needs. In the same way, Cholly found himself separated from the community. After the realization of the perception the community has of him, he is demoralized and does an act of inhumanity.

He could not live with the realization of the monster he had become and he disappeared. As a man he did not know who he was. In a sense he needed an act that would completely set him apart from the rest of the rational world for him to find himself. He sanely found himself as Pecola insanely found herself. They finished with varying results. While Pecola was separate but content, Cholly was separate and unsatisfied.

Pauline, on the other hand, chose an identity she could be content with. She had an option to become two very different people and she chose the one that seemed right for her. Her distorted view of reality made it seem that the choice she made was accepted in society, and would allow her to increase her status in society. However, her overseer saw it and described it in actuality. “We could never find anyone like Polly.

She will not leave the kitchen until everything is in order. Really, she is the ideal servant” (Morrison 128). This twist of perspective shows how Pauline is really accredited. Are they satisfied with what they have found? It seems that the only truly satisfied person is Pauline. Pecola is not content, she will not ever be.

Her father took away that option. Cholly is not satisfied. He can not handle the naked truth that he is a beast, and therefore retreats from society. Pauline, though looked down upon by society was somehow satisfied with her identity. Her twisted view of reality made her believe that she was accepted as an equal in society. The Breedlove family are representatives of the black rising community in the north.

Pecola a “dismissed, trivialized, misread” ( Morrison 216) child, was representative of the younger Black population. While her ending does not conform to societies norm her story does. Cholly was a misunderstood Blackmale adult. He was a part of the generation that started the Black community in the north. For Cholly, the responsibilities of that were too great and he therefore needed to withdraw from society.

Pauline was representative of the part of the Black — that tried too hard to conform to the White culture. She found what she was looking for and was able to convince herself that she was happy, but she did not really have a place where she truly fit in. The Breedlove family is a black family living in the 1940s. They have to deal with the same problems, situations, and dilemmas as do the rest of the rising Black community in the north. The Bluest Eye tells their story and offers their experiences.