Explain the title The Bluest Eye.What is the significance of title?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The title of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye is significant because it relates directly to the themes of the novel.  Literally speaking, "the bluest eye" is a reference to the wish that Pecola makes to Soaphead Church.  She dreams of having the bluest eyes because she believes that it will make her beautiful and wanted.  Soaphead Church tells Pecola that he will grant her wish if she poisons the dog.

Figuratively speaking, "the bluest eye" is a metaphor for standardized notions of beauty that are discussed throughout the novel.  Early in the text, Claudia says that she does not like to play with white baby dolls because everyone thinks they are so cute, and this is a reflection of the standards of beauty that are perpetrated by the media and society.  Pecola grows up believing that she is ugly, and she thinks that her family's troubles are a result of their ugliness.  Again, the physical characteristics of the characters are metaphors for the family's place in the socioeconomic hierarchy.  The novel portrays this complex web, and "the bluest eye" is a symbol for it.

Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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tlgarciaa13 | Student

Another significance is that the title plays with the word "eye" as in "I". The book tells various tragic stories of the characters so instead of the book referring to having blue eyes it's saying that their stories are the bluest and that out of all the stories being told Pecola's story is the bluest.