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What facets of racism do you observe in The Bluest Eye?

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ismail007 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 3, 2010 at 12:42 PM via web

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What facets of racism do you observe in The Bluest Eye?

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

Posted August 3, 2010 at 10:57 PM (Answer #1)

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Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye deals with both intraracial and interracial issues.  The main character Pecola is used as a scapegoat for negative issues of racism in the novel.  She is very dark skinned and labeled as ugly by even her mother, so Pecola grows up thinking that she is an unworthy person because she is ugly.  She experiences racism at the hands of both whites and blacks.  For example, Pecola goes to the candy shop to buy Mary Janes and the shop owner Mr. Yacobowski will not even touch her hand to take the coins.  He views her as dirty and hopeless and he does not want her in his shop.  Pecola has similar experiences with black people whom she meets such as Geraldine.  Geraldine has an internalized sense of racism that causes her to look down on Pecola.  Because of this, she kicks Pecola out of her house.  So Morrison shows throughout the novel that racism comes from the outside and plants itself within a community so that intraracism is also a serious issue.

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