Homework Help

What do the passages from the child's reading primer at the beginning of the chapters...

user profile pic

tierria | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 24, 2011 at 11:52 PM via web

dislike 1 like

What do the passages from the child's reading primer at the beginning of the chapters represent in The Bluest Eye?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

lizbv | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted August 25, 2011 at 1:34 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

The passage from the child's primer also symbolizes that which is slowly destroying Pecola's sanity, primarily the fact that her life is not happy and as "perfect" as that of a child with blue eyes, or more specifically, a white child. The characters Dick and Jane in the children's primer were beautiful according to that time period's standards because of their blonde hair and blue eyes (the latter being that which Pecola desperately wants). Furthermore, they seemed to live a perfect life in the illustrations, having a mom and dad that loved them and cared for them, a beautiful home with a white picket fence, and even a dog named Spot.  These were all the things that Pecola longed for. Her desire for the blue eyes is symbolic of her desire for the things she believed a child with blue eyes would have, i.e. Dick and Jane's life. Not only does Morrison's way of using the primer symbolize the different kinds of familly, but it also stands as a sharp contrast to Pecola's reality. Dick and Jane's lives were her fantasy.

user profile pic

reeja | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted August 25, 2011 at 12:10 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like
The passage from the child's reading primer is printed in the very beginning of the novel in three versions.The first is printed with the correct use of punctuations and capital letters.This is the standard form of printing and it represents as it deals with a happy family according to the white norms.The second paragraph avoids punctuations still we can make out the meaning of the text easily.This is the second kind of family as that of Claudia's and Geraldine's. The third paragraph represents the chaotic nature of the Breedlove family. Each line of the paragraph is printed at the beginning of the chapters in which some event of Pecola's life is depicted. The lines are given ironically to the actual events that occurs in the chapter and thereby intensifies the tragic effect of the whole novel.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes