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Role of Claudia as a narrator in The Bluest Eye?

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chamko | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 22, 2009 at 5:24 PM via web

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Role of Claudia as a narrator in The Bluest Eye?

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted December 22, 2009 at 11:03 PM (Answer #1)

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Claudia as a narrator in "The Bluest Eye" narrates the story for two reasons; to provide a child's perspective as well as an adult's perspective of the rape of her childhood friend and to provide a buffer for her friend.  By using Claudia as the narrator the reader does not get to fully know or understand Pecola, the rape victim, until later in the story.  Claudia is also serves an opposite to Pecola allowing the reader to identify the significance of the contrast between the two girls.  Claudia has strong feelings of high self-esteem and worth whereas Pecola does not.  Claudia is proud of being black and has learned her values from her mother who is supportive.  There is love in her house, but it is absent in Pecola's home. 

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 22, 2009 at 11:19 PM (Answer #2)

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I want to add to the wonderful previous posting that this is a particularly good technique from the author to apply the hero/antihero and tragic hero strategies to the story. It is arguable that Claudia as the main narrator could appear to be the "hero" of the story, since she exemplifies all the good things of society: family, stability, joy. Yet, what she is doing, like the previous post noted, was creating the foundation to establish the tragedy of Pecola's reality and her role as a tragic hero within the story. I think this is a great lesson on perspective, and this is something you may want to add as an observation in your answer.

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