The Bluest Eye: Pecola's World

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Pecola Breedlove is born into a life resembling that of her parents. She grows up in a small dilapidated town in Ohio with poverty dominating every aspect of her life. To make things worse, Pecola is trapped within the body of an ugly, eleven year old, black girl. The dark, unattractive, brown eyes with which she faces the world contrast the title of Toni Morrison's novel, The Bluest Eye.

Morrison's novel begins with a short passage about a seemingly perfect family. Mother, Father, Dick, and Jane live in a beautiful house, wear attractive clothes, and are surrounded by an aura of happiness. As the passage goes on, punctuation disappears, and eventually the passage becomes one long jumble of letters that barely makes sense. The cluttered words often begin other chapters in the novel showing the contrast between an ideal American family, while reminding the reader of what is a reality to Pecola and her family.

As the initial passage ends, it is barely understandable, thus it is symbolic of Pecola's dreams and aspirations. Pecola wishes to be good-looking and white, to have pretty blue eyes, an attractive face, and wear nice clothes, which she hopes would bring her love from her parents and society in general. However, Pecola's dreams of beauty and a good life are terribly unrealistic, and therefore just as incomprehensible as the end of the first Dick and Jane passage.

Living in a world of discrimination and plagued by a society that dwells on superficial values, Pecola's life is based on appearance. She dreams of being good-looking and having blue eyes, hoping that this will gain her society's respect and not force her to live her life in shame. If she is pretty, she believes that she will be loved, especially by her own...