What is the significance of the four parts of The Bluest Eye correlating with the four seasons?

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In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison titles her sections after the seasons to use them as plot points and draw out the emotions associated with each one. "Autumn" shows the reader an increasingly difficult time in the characters' lives, while "Winter" demonstrates colorism in the community. "Spring" provides the protagonist with a false sense of hope, and "Summer" brings the story to a tragic climax.

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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...

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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.

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In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, the author names the four sections of the book after the four seasons in order to imbue her story with the emotions and mood associated with each one. In "Autumn," for example, we learn about the traumatic past of Pecola Breedlove, who must move in with the narrator Claudia after her father burns down their house and beats her mother. Things aren't going very well in Claudia's household either, though, as the cold weather sets in just as Claudia's father loses his job. The general mood of this section is grim and pessimistic, a fact which is highlighted by the darkening days of autumn.

In "Winter," Morrison uses the season to highlight the colorism the girls experience in their community. Claudia describes how they envied a girl named Maureen due to her almost-white skin tone and how Pecola is bullied for her dark skin. The snow-white setting of winter serves to highlight the constant valorization of "whiteness" in the racist society in which the characters live.

"Spring" brings about temporary hope; Pecola visits a spiritual adviser who promises to help her get the blue eyes she's always wanted. The adviser gives her poisoned meat to feed a dog, and once the dog dies, Pecola believes the ceremony must have worked and that her eyes are now blue.

"Summer" serves as the fitting setting for the most intense section of the text. The girls try to sell marigold seeds in order to raise money to protect Pecola's baby, and believe that if the seeds bloom, it will mean that God is protecting them. In spite of the summer weather, the seeds do not bloom, signifying that there is something wrong with the natural order of the world around them.

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The seasons of the year operate symbolically in the novel. The four structural sections each correspond to a season of the year. Autumn beings the book: for Claudia, Pecola, and Frieda (like most children), autumn is a time of "beginnings," especially the beginning of the school year. Indeed, this section does contain "beginnings," for Claudia and Frieda first meet Pecola here.

Winter is traditionally associated with barrenness, empitness, and death. In winter, the girls become acquainted with Maureen Peal. She serves as a reminder to them that without beauty that will bring acceptance, their lives will remain empty and barren in white society. This is also the section in the book in which Pecola is abused by Geraldine and her son, Junior. Thus we see how sterile and unforgiving Pecola's life is.

Spring typically suggests rebirth, new life, change, and fruitfulness. However, the title is ironic is The Bluest Eye. In this section, more abuse and terror occur. Frieda is fondled by Mr. Henry, while Pecola is betaen by her mother for spilling the cobbler at the Fisher home and raped by her father. In this section, the audience also learns of the steady destruction of the lives of Pauline and Cholly Breedlove since their childhoods.

The section entitled "Summer" is the shortest section of the book. Again, one may expect happy children playing together, family vacations, and childhood revelations. However, this book does not present gleeful children reveling in the pleasures of summer but an isolated, insane Pecola. Her revelation is a false one, as she imagine herself to have blue eyes, the bluest of all.

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