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What is your understanding of what the word "blue" means to Pecola Breedlove in The...

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pashti | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted September 6, 2013 at 9:00 PM via web

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What is your understanding of what the word "blue" means to Pecola Breedlove in The Bluest Eye?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 7, 2013 at 5:38 AM (Answer #1)

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What blue represents to Pecola in this novel is the middle-class, white existence that is completely barred from her because of her blackness and her family background. Pecola comes to the conclusion early on in the novel that if her eyes were different she would be different, and would become more beautiful. She believes that her appearance can impact her psychological condition and her self-beliefs. The colour blue is repeatedly linked to the Dick and Jane narrative that opens this book. The book that is presented gives an image of a perfect world, where white children with blue eyes play together in harmony and peace with loving parents. This of course is a massive difference from Pecola's own experience of family and of herself. Note how Pecola is presented later on in the novel when she admits her desire to have blue eyes to Soaphead:

Here was an ugly little girl asking for beauty... A little black girl who wanted to rise up out of the pit of her blackness and see the world with blue eyes.

The language of this quote is particularly fascinating. Note how the skin colour of Pecola is described as a "pit" in which she is trapped. However, "seeing the world with blue eyes" is equated to "rising up out of the pit." Blue therefore represents to Pecola nothing more than freedom from the squalour and self-loathing of her own position and identity.

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