The following entry presents criticism on Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye through For further information on her life and complete works, see CLC, Volumes 4, 10, 22, 87, and Morrison's first novel, The Bluest Eye, examines the tragic effects of imposing white, middle-class American ideals of beauty on the developing female identity of a young African American girl during the early s.
A New Historicist Analysis Chrysoula Titi University of Kent Post-structuralism radically changed the way we study literature so that it gradually became the norm to analyze it based on the literary text alone since everything necessary for its understanding were to be found in it. New Historicism changed that methodology by introducing the "parallel reading of literary and non-literary texts, usually of the same historical period" Barry This approach of turning to the socio-political and historical context in which a text is produced, by whom, when, why and under what circumstances was in fact the norm long before structuralism and post-structuralism came along.
What is different about New Historicism is that it focuses mostly on the historical context and that it does not privilege neither the historical nor the literary text; as Barry puts it, "literary and non-literary texts are given equal weight and constantly inform or interrogate each other" For reasons of practicality mostly, it is better to do this by following the chronology that Justine Tally provides in The Cambridge Companion to Toni Morrison; using that as a starting point the historical events that are related to the novel will be presented so as to demonstrate how a New Historicist analysis would be like.
Her novels blend the past with the present so that it becomes necessary to know that past to which she is referring in order to grasp the message she wants to convey. In the Afterword of her novel Morrison explains in detail how the book came about and what inspired her to write it in terms of the historical, political and cultural context.
Although not directly mentioned in the novel, it is important to consider the Great Depression of the s which might explain the financial state of the characters 1 and their poverty, especially of the Breedloves. The story is set only a few years after the Great Depression which means that its effects still exist for the poorer part of the population.
While examining the novel in the context of the Civil Rights movement in the s and the Black Arts movement in the s, the Harlem Renaissance of the s that also spanned to the mid s comes to mind as a precursor of sorts of these two. This cultural blooming marked the beginnings of recognizing African American culture as equal and even superior to White Western culture and of discovering pride in being part of that rich culture instead of shame, this last point particularly applies to Pecola who dreams of belonging to that "superior world.
Martin Luther King inare worth taken into account as part of the African American struggle. Another interesting point to keep in mind is the Vietnam War in until After having commented on the general socio-historical and cultural context of the novel, now we will focus on the three main historical events that are related to the novel, World War II, Civil Rights Movement and Black Arts Movement.
This time frame serves the rejection of western beauty standards and of racist attitudes connected to them.
By setting her story during this war, she is condemning the hypocrisy and contradiction of ostensibly fighting for a humanistic cause in another land but not in its own.
Morrison herself acknowledges the importance of setting her story in the "momentous year…the 'fall' of …. There are no explicit references to this but it can be found between the lines as a subtext that explains the themes Morrison is concerned with.
African Americans joined the Army and fought the war "some of her brothers joined the Army" leaving their families under the care of women. In any case, it is not very clear how long and why he was missing but it is clear that Pauline was the one who provided for the family and was the only one working which is compatible with what usually happens in wars; men leave and women are left alone to survive by themselves.
Of course the most obvious connection between World War II and the novel lies with the issue of race. While the US was supposed to be fighting for equality, it was asking of its people eyes "blue enough for something" Morrison ; and that something was acceptance.
All Pecola wanted was love and acceptance and since only blue-eyed children seemed to receive that, she asked constantly for "the bluest eyes" The twins, Claudia and Frieda, are the only ones who are aware and critical of these standards even though they are affected by the prejudices against them "To see of what it was made, to discover the dearness, to find the beauty, the desirability that had escaped me, but apparently only me" Another historical subtext to be found is the Civil Rights movement in against racial segregation.
It was not only the western standards that privileged whites over coloured people when it came to beauty but also about justice and equal opportunities.
African Americans still faced racism, even after the abolition of slavery, which took the form of poverty that "reproduced itself by generating behavior that precluded escape through economic success" Ryan 66 meaning that a vicious cycle of poverty was being perpetuated.
Lack of money meant poor living standards and poor health followed by lack of education for the next generation which was doomed to repeat the same patterns of failure and misery.Essay about Analysis of The Bluest Eye and Other Works - The story I read independently is called The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.
The story is told by two narrators: Claudia Macteer who is a grown woman reflecting back on her childhood, and an unknown narrator. The Framework of Racism in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye: A Psychosocial Interpretation In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison presents a community in which a racist ideology is internalized.
The sufferers of racial abuse in this community both endure and resist in a complex . The Bluest Eye literary analysis Beauty is a perceptual scope that the reader looks through while reading the bluest eye in its entirety. It is the focus of ideals and issues within the book the Bluest eye.
Analysis of Minor Characters in "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison and "Slaughterhouse Five" by Kurt Vonnegut Malvika Govil 12th Grade Bluest Eye Minor characters may not be the center of action or attraction, but novelists can use them to supplement the understanding of major characters and the thematic purpose of the text.
The Bluest Eye is a harsh warning about the old consciousness of black folks' attempts to emulate the slave master.
Pecola's request is not for more money or a better house or even for more sensible parents; her request is for blue eyes — something that, even if she had been able to acquire them, would not have abated the harshness of her abject reality.
The "bluest" eye could also mean the saddest eye. Furthermore, eye puns on I, in the sense that the novel's title uses the singular form of the noun (instead of The Bluest Eyes) to express many of the characters' sad isolation.