In The Bluest Eye, Morrison uses the four seasons as a way of showing how her characters' experiences fall short of the expectations traditionally associated with spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
The first season dealt with in the book is autumn, a beautiful time of year characterized by crisp falling leaves and fresh, cool air. Yet the Breedloves' house is anything but beautiful. Neither, for that matter, are the Breedloves, at least not according to the way they see themselves. According to Claudia, the Breedloves are “poor and black” and they stay in such an ugly house because they believe themselves to be ugly.
Winter is a season traditionally associated with stasis, lack of change. Yet Pecola experiences quite a significant change as she starts to lose confidence in herself, feeling ugly into the bargain. Pecola's low self-esteem is symbolized by the falling snowflakes of this time of year, which also evaporate quickly.
Moving on to spring, the season of new life, of hope and happiness, our expectations are confounded once again. The arrival of spring, far from heralding a hopeful future, simply betokens more suffering and heartache. The branches on the trees may be more beautiful than they were in the winter, but they're not being put to beautiful ends; they're being used to make a switch instead of a strap, with which Claudia is beaten.
Spring is also the month in which a pervert by the name of Henry is driven away by Claudia's parents after he touched her inappropriately. Again, one can see the gap between what the seasons promise and what they actually deliver. Spring is supposed to be full of optimism, but here it's associated with sexual deviancy and violence.
Finally, we come to summer, with its expectations of growth and fruitfulness. Yet for Claudia, this time of year is associated with devastating storms and excessive heat. As for Pecola, summer is a time of death, the death of her baby. It's also the season when she is finally granted her long-standing wish to have blue eyes, albeit imaginary ones.
But these blue eyes come with a very heavy cost: Pecola's sanity. In a growing state of madness, Pecola wanders round the streets with her imaginary friend in tow, fulminating against the prejudices of other people concerning her blue eyes.
Summer sun is supposed to make us see the world around us more clearly, but Pecola's blue eyes have the exact opposite effect; they blind her to the people around her, from whom she has become even more isolated.