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How would you describe the atmosphere and images that Morrison conveys? The Bluest Eye...

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pashti | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted September 10, 2013 at 12:02 AM via web

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How would you describe the atmosphere and images that Morrison conveys?

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 10, 2013 at 12:33 AM (Answer #1)

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The tone of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye is both elegiac and colloquial. It is elegiac because of the mournful quality of  Claudia and Pecola. Both are saddened at the fact beauty seems to be externally lost (and not identified as something which is internal). It is colloquial given its matter-of-fact language which refuses to soften the action of the text. The atmosphere mirrors the tone of the novel. 

Therefore, the atmosphere and images used by Morrison, or her narrators, paints a picture of mourning, sadness, and solitude. The girls look at the famous women of the day (Jean Harlow, Greta Garbo, Ginger Rogers, and Shirley Temple) which represent the ideal beauty. Both girls are understand how far each of them are from these ideals; although Pecola idolises the women, Claudia abhors them. 

The atmosphere, then, illustrates stark contrasts between Pecola and Claudia and the Hollywood starlets. Compounded by the setting of the tone, the atmosphere and images solidify the reader's concept of how Morrison wishes her reader to feel. 

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