Topics for Further Study

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  • Research the life and career of Shirley Temple, the child star whom Pecola sees as the epitome of female beauty. What about Shirley Temple made her idolized by white society? Then, examine Pecola's admiration of Shirley Temple. How does Pecola's admiration of Shirley Temple affect her throughout the novel?
  • Many critics consider The Bluest Eye to be a bildungsroman, a story outlining the maturing process of a character. Analyze the ways in which Claudia and Pecola both mature. Why do they mature into very different people even though they share many of the same experiences?
  • Although The Bluest Eye does not take place in the South, many characters in the novel are victims of racism. Investigate life for African Americans, in both the North and South, during the 1940s, and compare your findings to the treatment of characters in the book.

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