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In The Bluest Eye, why are the child's reading primer passages repeated and run together?

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tpinnock | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 31, 2010 at 5:26 AM via web

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In The Bluest Eye, why are the child's reading primer passages repeated and run together?

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cetaylorplfd | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted July 31, 2010 at 7:25 PM (Answer #1)

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In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, the first section of the novel is preceeded by a re-creation of a children's primer based on the Dick and Jane readers of the mid 1900s.  Historically, the readers were used in many schools to teach children how to read.  The images portrayed in these books were of a stereotypical white American middle class family.  Morrison alludes to the readers as a symbol of what the characters in The Bluest Eye must face in their daily lives.  Claudia, the narrator of the first section of the book, says that she hates white baby dolls because everyone seems to love them.  This suggests that the characters in the novel battle with stereotypes, racism, and portrayed standards of beauty.  The primer passages are repeated and run together to show that the image of the "perfect" American family is going to be challenged in the novel and that stereotypes such as this cause chaos in the lives of those who do not "fit the mold." 

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