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

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Throughout the book, having blue eyes is portrayed as a profoundly socially desirable trait. The society shown in the book values whiteness above all else, and blue eyes are a symbol of that whiteness. The only person in the book who does not subscribe to this value system is Claudia,...

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Throughout the book, having blue eyes is portrayed as a profoundly socially desirable trait. The society shown in the book values whiteness above all else, and blue eyes are a symbol of that whiteness. The only person in the book who does not subscribe to this value system is Claudia, the narrator, who hates Shirley Temple for her blue eyes. By contrast, the protagonist, Pecola, has a particularly strong desire for blue eyes. At the end, the con man Soaphead Church tricks Pecola into believing that she has blue eyes, a belief that becomes a component of the madness into which she descends by the end of the book. The conversation she has with herself in a later chapter (the exchange where one of the characters' words is italicized) shows that she now believes she has blue eyes. Yet even now, she is still concerned that her eyes should be the bluest in the world, as she shows by repeatedly asking her imaginary conversation partner whether they are the bluest. The significance of the title is that the "bluest eye," as a symbol of whiteness, is the ultimate desire of the central character, due to her having grown up in a society that values whiteness as the supreme positive social characteristic.

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Blue eyes are a part of a traditional, Western, white-centric conception of beauty. Standards of beauty are one of the major themes in Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye, and the novel's title is the first hint the reader has as to the subject matter the book will be dealing with.

The title is also directly relevant to the plot. The novel's protagonist, Pecola, lacks self-confidence and believes herself to be ugly because she does not meet societal standards of beauty. The blue eyes that Pecola wants (and the beauty she believes she will attain if she is granted them) are symbolic of her desire to be accepted by people and a culture at large that have excluded and oppressed her for the way she looks. She believes that if she only had blue eyes, she would see an end to her pain and loneliness and finally find acceptance in society. Pecola's quest for "the bluest eyes" ultimately drives her to madness.

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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.

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