Bluest eye Compare and Constrast Essay

This essay has a total of 1893 words and 7 pages.

bluest eye

The Bluest Eye
Beauty is said to be in the eyes of the beholder, but what if the image of beauty is
forced into the minds of many? The beauty of a person could be expressed in many different
ways, as far as looks and personality goes, but the novel The Bluest Eye begs to differ.
It contradicts the principle, because beauty is no longer just a person's opinion but
beauty has been made into an unwritten rule, a standard made by society for society. The
most important rule is that in order to be beautiful, girls have to look just like a white
doll, with blue eyes, light pink skin, and have blond hair. And if they're not, they are
not beautiful. Pecola, one of community's ugly children, lives life each day wanting to be
accepted. "The wider community also fails Pecola. Having absorbed the idea that she is
ugly and knowing that she is unloved, Pecola desperately wants the blue eyes that she
understands will make a child lovable in American society"(Kubitschek 35). In The Bluest
Eye, Morrison argues that the black females in society have been forced to accept the
blond hair blue eyed image as the only beauty that exists

Little girls in Lorain had it set in their heads that they should all grow up owning a
blond haired and blue-eyed doll, also know as Shirley Temple. These images were placed in
their minds, making them feel as if they had to live up to the expectations by going with
the crowd, and letting their surroundings influence them. " Adults, older girls, shops,
magazines, newspapers, window signs- all the world had agreed that a blue-eye, yellow
haired, pink-skinned doll was every girl child's treasure"(Morrison 20). Society sees
Shirley Temple as the angelic picture perfect child, and anything that's not Shirley
Temple, they are considered to be ugly. The Shirley Temple face is the cause of Pecola
being hypnotized and it's the reason for her to drink three whole quarts of milk. It isn't
because she is lacking milk or due to sheer greediness, it is because " …she was fond of
the Shirley Temple cup and took every opportunity to drink milk out of it just to see and
handle sweet Shirley's face"(Morrison 23). Another blond beauty that girls look up to and
imitate is Mary Jane. Mary Jane's face is on the wrapper of each piece of candy, the ones
that Pecola bought for three pieces a penny. When Pecola goes to buy the Mary Jane candy,
she doesn't see just a piece of candy that would end her cravings, but she sees an image
of someone she admires, adores and someone she wants to be. She realizes that her problems
are not as important because in her hand, she holds nine pieces of Mary Jane candy. The
Mary Jane candy seems to be making every disappointment in life become something more
attractive, something better. " A picture of little Mary Jane, for whom the candy is
named. Smiling white face. Blond hair in gentle disarray, blue eyes looking at her out of
a world of clean comfort…She eats the candy, and its sweetness is good. To eat the candy
is somehow to eat the eyes, eat Mary Jane. Love Mary Jane. Be Mary Jane"(Morrison 50).
Pecola is more than obsessed with these full- blown artificial images, making it obvious
that she is unstable about her appearances, therefore, wanting to replace it with
something that she believes is better (Weever 3/5). All over town, there are many little
girls just like Pecola, buying into the products of Shirley Temples and Mary Jane.

Although there are many different characters in this novel that are affected by the great
advertisement of the beauty of a female in society, Pecola is the one to end up being
insane due to the images- the image that she couldn't possibly attain. Pecola grew up
believing that she was born into an ugly family, making her ugly also. The ugliness wasn't
just from the window signs and newspapers, it was from her family and her neighbors.
Therefore, she seeks the next best thing in her life, to have those blue eyes of a white
girl, thinking that it would make her life exceptional. " The desire for blue eyes is part
of the inverted quality of her world; in wanting blue eyes, Pecola wants in fact to be
white"(Weever 3/5).

With the blue eyes, Pecola wants to stand out; she wants to be beautiful and white rather
than being black and ugly. She longs for a pair of beauteous blue eyes that would separate
her from the ugly blacks. Even though Pecola wishes to walk away from her people, she also
wants to be accepted by her people. She wants the best of both worlds; the blue eyes so
she could be "beautiful" and the acceptance of her black friends, Claudia and Frieda. She
constantly tries to be on Claudia and Frieda's good side, by being their friend. Pecola is
torn between the two cultures, her own and the one she dreams of joining. Her life is
something that she wants to change, badly.

Instead of improving from Pecola's life, her alcoholic father, Cholly, ruins her life. One
day Cholly comes home to find that his daughter is doing the dishes, seeing his daughter
he visualizes something more of her and so he rapes her. The second time that he raped
her, he got her pregnant. When rumors went around town that she was pregnant they said
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