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Explain the theme of "The Bluest Eye."

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mally11 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 27, 2009 at 9:22 AM via web

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Explain the theme of "The Bluest Eye."

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eabettencourt | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted April 28, 2009 at 12:49 AM (Answer #1)

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There are probably multiple themes of Morrison's "The Bluest Eye."  One that is most prevalent concerns the role appearance plays in society,  Pecola Breedlove is described as ugly not because she necessarily is, but because all the Breedloves see themselves as ugly; this is the role they see themselves playing in society.  Arguably, this could be because they are darker skinned African Americans, and there are many sectionso f the novel where Morrison pays attention to the segregation within the African American community of darker skinned and light skinned blacks, the latter believing they are "better" presumably because they more closely represent the white majority.

This is not the only theme in the novel by any means, but it is the one I always come back to with each reading of the piece.

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reeja | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted August 26, 2011 at 11:27 PM (Answer #2)

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Another major theme in the novel is the dangerous after effects of blindly following the white standards of beauty. The novel effectively depicts the moral subjugation of the thirdworld towards the western concepts of beauty and life style.Even in real life we can identify the interpellation of these ideologies.The whole world of cosmetic industry make use of people's puruit of white standards.Though unknowingly we introduce these western worship into our children's mind when we introduce them to Barbie dolls.References to all these are there in the novel.

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tlgarciaa13 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 15, 2014 at 3:15 PM (Answer #3)

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A major theme that can be picked from the book is that it describes the effects of people's obsession and beauty in society. Polly, Pecola's mother, is an example. She watches movies and looks in magazines of the 'beautiful white women' and she tries copy those looks, but when all of sudden she loses her tooth. She looses hope and automatically categorizes herself ugly. Later in the novel, you see her enjoying the beauty of her job and doesn't even glances at her family.  Polly is so obsessed with the beauty of her job that she forgets everything else and it ruins her relationship with her husband and kids.

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