Comment on the point of view in The Bluest Eye.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The majority of this novel is told from the perspective of Claudia, who, as a friend of Pecola Breedlove, watched the majority of the events unfold, and therefore is an appropriate choice of narrator. At times, Claudia speaks from her perspective as an adult in the present, looking back at the events that happened to Pecola and herself as a child, but also she speaks from her perspective as a young girl, experiencing the events in the novel as they occurred. However, as well as Claudia's voice, occasionally the novel shifts to a third person omniscient narrator. Interestingly, these occurs in the chapters talking about the Breedlove family and Soaphead Church. Such a shift in the point of view allows the voices and stories of other characters to be disclosed to the reader. The reader would never know, for example, about Cholly's sexual history, and Soaphead's journey from the West Indies, if the story was told from Claudia's point of view. Note, for example, what insight the omniscient narrator is able to give the reader about the character of Soaphead when he discovers Pecola's wish for blue eyes:

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. His outrage grew and felt like power. For the first time he honestly wished he could work miracles.

The omniscient point of view therefore allows the reader greater insight into the lives of other characters and their histories. Morrison does this to explore the way in which even characters such as Soaphead and Cholly have suffered because of their skin colour in their past, and this perhaps helps the reader to understand their actions in the present. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial