In The Bluest Eye, author Toni Morrison examines the theme of love. The story is told through the eyes of Claudia MacTeer, who lives with her sister and their parents. The MacTeers are caring, protective, and loving parents, and the love they give their daughters is returned.
For instance, one day the girls find their boarder in their home with prostitutes. He asks the girls not to tell their mother. Frieda decides that they do not need to tell her. They do not want to upset their mother, because they love her.
By contrast, Pecola is generally unloved by her own parents, as well as by society overall. Her father is abusive and ultimately rapes her. Her mother does little to help her, and most people in the community are not nice to Pecola either. They view her as ugly. Pecola’s life reflects the lack of love in it. Claudia refers to Pecola as “a girl who had no place to go.”
Pecola loves anyone who shows her some kindness. For instance, her neighbors—the sex workers Miss Marie, China, and Poland—are nice to her, so she loves them. The author writes,
Three whores lived in the apartment above the Breedloves' storefront. China, Poland, and Miss Marie. Pecola loved them, visited them, and ran their errands. They, in turn, did not despise her.
They do not love Pecola, but she loves them because they treat her better than her own family does. Pecola also wants to change things so that people will love her. Sadly, she believes that having blue eyes will make this happen.