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Explain the title The Bluest Eye.What is the significance of title?

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shoaibbalsing | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 25, 2011 at 3:58 PM via web

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Explain the title The Bluest Eye.


What is the significance of title?

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

Posted July 25, 2011 at 9:50 PM (Answer #1)

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The title of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye is significant because it relates directly to the themes of the novel.  Literally speaking, "the bluest eye" is a reference to the wish that Pecola makes to Soaphead Church.  She dreams of having the bluest eyes because she believes that it will make her beautiful and wanted.  Soaphead Church tells Pecola that he will grant her wish if she poisons the dog.

Figuratively speaking, "the bluest eye" is a metaphor for standardized notions of beauty that are discussed throughout the novel.  Early in the text, Claudia says that she does not like to play with white baby dolls because everyone thinks they are so cute, and this is a reflection of the standards of beauty that are perpetrated by the media and society.  Pecola grows up believing that she is ugly, and she thinks that her family's troubles are a result of their ugliness.  Again, the physical characteristics of the characters are metaphors for the family's place in the socioeconomic hierarchy.  The novel portrays this complex web, and "the bluest eye" is a symbol for it.

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ms-charleston-yawp | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted August 1, 2011 at 1:00 PM (Answer #2)

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This question has already been answered here on eNotes.  Here is a link for you:  http://www.enotes.com/bluest-eye/q-and-a/what-significance-bluest-eye-91597

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