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Discuss Pecola Breedlove as the central character of The Bluest Eye.

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papicho04 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted September 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM via web

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Discuss Pecola Breedlove as the central character of The Bluest Eye.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 13, 2013 at 10:17 AM (Answer #1)

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It is interesting to note how Pecola occupies central significance in Morrison's novel as the universal victim.  Pecola is the ultimate embodiment of victimization while remaining as the central character of the novel.  As the central character, she becomes the prism by which we understand the other characters.  They become more understandable in how they abuse Pecola. Cholly's frustration and anger in the world is evident in the way he rapes and impregnates her.  Pauline's neglect and cruelty which are fueled by her own resentment are evident in how she discards Pecola. Soaphead Church's weird desire to advance his own agenda at any costs is evident in how he manipulates Pecola.

In the end, Pecola is the central character of the novel precisely because one understands the motivations and traits of the other characters through their abuse of Pecola.  She is the prism of sadness and hurt by which others can be understood.  The desire for "blue eyes" becomes the ultimate statement of how cruel the world is for someone like Pecola, who only wishes to be seen as beautiful by someone, anyone.  In making her the central character of the novel, Morrison not only gives the sadness of the world a definable countenance but also gives a voice to one who lost their voice a long time ago.

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