The Bluest Eye Questions and Answers
by Toni Morrison

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In The Bluest Eye, how is Pecola a victim of her own family and society as well as American racism?

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Your question asks why Pecola from The Bluest Eye can be viewed as a victim of her family, society, and American racism. After reading the novel you probably realize that the situations in the novel are based upon the racism faced by African Americans in America. It is the history of discrimination that serves as the general cause of the difficulties Morrison's characters face.

Pecola's parents mistreat her because she is the image of everything they hate about themselves. Portrayed in the novel as immersed in self-hatred, Pauline and Cholly first grow apart from each other and then from their children. Pauline's contempt is illustrated by the way she ignores Pecola in preference for the white child she is paid to mother and the white family she is employed to serve. Cholly's abuse of Pecola is physical and violent. In a drunken haze, Cholly sees his daughter as a replica of her mother who he once loved.

The society abuses Pecola like a bully on a playground. It seems that each person...

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