Toni Morrison Long Fiction Analysis
In all of her fiction, Toni Morrison explores the conflict between society and the individual. She shows how the individual who defies social pressures can forge a self by drawing on the resources of the natural world, on a sense of continuity within the family and within the history of a people, and on dreams and other unaccountable sources of psychic power. Many of her works also confront some sort of sexual depravity that has become a controlling influence on the lives of the characters.
The Bluest Eye
In The Bluest Eye, Morrison shows how society inflicts on its members an inappropriate standard of beauty and worth, a standard that mandates that to be loved one must meet the absolute “white” standard of blond hair and blue eyes. Morrison’s narrator says that two of the most destructive ideas in history are the idea of romantic love (canceling both lust and caring) and the idea of an absolute, univocal standard of beauty.
In the novel, the most extreme victim of these destructive ideas is Pecola, a young African American girl who finds refuge in madness after she has been thoroughly convinced of her own ugliness (confirmed when she is raped by her own father, Cholly). Mrs. Breedlove, Pecola’s mother, is another victim who gets her idea of an unvarying standard of beauty from romantic motion pictures that glorify white film stars. When she realizes the impassable gap between that ideal and her physical...
(The entire section is 5883 words.)
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