Essays on The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye
Original title The Bluest Eye
Author Toni Morrison

African-American Literature

Language English
Published 1970
ISBN 978-0-375-41155-7 (hardcover edition)
Book Summary
Essay Examples

Table of Contents

About The Bluest Eye Book

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, centers on Pecola Breedlove (pea-coal-uh) Breedlove, a young black girl who lives in Ohio in the late 1940s and suffers from loneliness. Pecola’s obsession with white skin and blonde hair, and not only blue eyes, shows the power and harshness of white, middle-class American concepts of beauty in Morrison’s novel.

Pecola, a victim of mainstream white society and the widespread advertising of that culture, mistakenly believes that others would value her more if she weren’t black. She would be adored if she was white, blonde, and blue-eyed.

Rather than following a linear plot, the author chooses to tell the story in various ways. Although Morrison is credited with writing the novel’s opening line, it reads more like a first-grade reading book or primer that has been used for decades to educate white and black youngsters about the joys of reading.

Book Summary

The story begins in Lorain, Ohio, in the autumn of 1941, right after the Great Depression. Claudia, nine, and Frieda, ten, live in an “old, chilly, and green” home with their parents. When it comes to finances, they make up for it with passion.

The MacTeers intend to take on a boarder named Mr. Henry. Meanwhile, they take in Pecola Breedlove, whose father just attacked her mother and attempted to burn down the family house. Pecola is a shy, awkward young lady who adores Shirley Temple and believes that whiteness is naturally attractive, despite being black.

In Pecola’s family, things are never easy. Her father, Cholly, is a heavy drinker, and the two of them often argue. Pecola believes that if she were more attractive, her parents would treat one other and her more kindly than they do now.

Because Pecola believes that having blue eyes would alter the way people see her, she starts to pray for their arrival. Three prostitutes dwell on top of Pecola’s house: Miss Marie, Poland, and China. Women who prey on men for money curse, spit and giggle. They are very friendly to Pecola and give her tales about romance, sex, and money.

Maureen Peal, a fresh, light-skinned girl, teases Pecola at school. Pecola gets punched in the face by Claudia after she misses her punch at Maureen for making fun of her. Pecola is lured inside Junior’s home by a young black kid from the neighborhood, who assaults her with a cat.

Upon killing the cat, he accuses Pecola of it, prompting his mother to scream and expel Pecola from home. Mr. Henry gropes Frieda in the spring of 1942 and is expelled from the MacTeers’ home.

The narrator narrates Cholly and Pauline Breedlove’s pasts through flashbacks. Because of her deformed foot, Pauline has always felt like an outsider in her large family. It’s easy to picture her as a little girl engrossed in church hymns and romantic fantasies of a prince charming who would adore and rescue her.

After seeing Hollywood films, she tries to mimic white superstars like Jean Harlow in her quest for beauty and self-confidence. Cholly, a four-day-old baby who is dumped by his mother on a railroad track, is another character we meet.

Jimmy, Jimmy’s great aunt, takes him in and nurtures him till she dies. Cholly had his first sexual encounter with a local girl, Darlene, on the day of Jimmy’s burial. Two white males approach them as they are having sex in the middle of a field and shine a spotlight on their faces. As they watch and laugh at the couple, they push them to continue having sex.

This leaves Cholly unable to concentrate his anger on the white males, so he turns it on, Darlene. For the following several years, he moves from city to city and woman to woman, settling into each one. He meets and marries Pauline in Kentucky, and the pair relocates to Lorain, Ohio.

Pecola is doing the dishes one day when Cholly comes home intoxicated. In the kitchen, Cholly rapes her. He wraps her up in a quilt after it’s done. Pauline comes upon Pecola, who is lying unconscious on the floor.

As soon as Pecola informs her Cholly has raped her, she snaps at Pecola and slaps her in the face. Sooner or later, Cholly rapes Pecola once again, although when precisely that occurs is unknown.

Pecola falls pregnant with the kid of her father. She goes to a quack healer and psychic named Soaphead Church and requests for blue eyes. Soaphead tells Pecola to feed his dog meat, and if the dog behaves abnormally, she will receive her request.

Pecola doesn’t know that Soaphead dislikes the dog and has poisoned it for her to feed it. When Pecola sees the dog starts to choke and limp, she feels she will be blessed with the gift of blue eyes. Rumors of Pecola’s pregnancy spread like wildfire throughout the neighborhood.

Against everyone else’s wishes in Lorain, Claudia and Frieda hope that the baby lives. In the summer of 1942, they sow marigold seeds to expect Pecola’s baby to live if the flowers grew. Pecola’s infant son passes away.

Pauline and Pecola relocate to the edge of town, and Pecola starts to lose her mind. Pecola may be seen staring into a mirror, chatting to herself while her blue eyes, and digging through the rubbish. We hope the bluest eye short summary helps you in writing the essay!

The Bluest Eye Characters

Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye has the following characters:

● Pecola Breedlove: Eleven-year-old black girl protagonist of the tale, who feels that having blue eyes will make her attractive.

● Claudia MacTeer: Claudia, a nine-year-old girl with a strong sense of self-determination, defies the authority of adults and the idealization of white beauty in the black community.

● Cholly Breedlove: Pecola’s impulsive and aggressive father, who is free but risky. He takes out his aggravation on the ladies in his life after experiencing early humiliations.

● Pauline (Polly) Breedlove: Pecola’s mother, who thinks she’s ugly, has become isolated and cold because of this.

● Frieda MacTeer: A ten-year-old girl quite similar to Claudia in terms of self-reliance and tenacity.

● Mrs. MacTeer: While Claudia’s mother is an authoritarian and at times mean-spirited lady, she stubbornly loves her children and shields them from harm.

● Mr. MacTeer: Claudia’s father is a man who puts in long hours to ensure his family is well-fed and clothed. Because of this, he is very protective of his children.

● Sammy Breedlove: By running away from home, Pecola’s fourteen-year-old brother deals with his family’s troubles. Pecola, on the other hand, is a passive participant in the conversation.

The Bluest Eye Quotes

All the greatest phrases and quotations, such as ‘The Bluest Eye’ quotes, are here to give you an impression of the story. Besides that, you can also read the bluest eye summary for better understanding!

● “We stare at her, wanting her bread, but more than that wanting to poke the arrogance out of her eyes and smash the pride of ownership that curls her chewing mouth.”

● “More strongly than my fondness for Pecola, I felt a need for someone to want the black baby to live – just to counteract the universal love of white baby dolls, Shirley Temples, and Maureen Peals.”

● “We rearranged lies and called it truth, seeing in the new pattern of an old idea the Revelation and the Word.”

● “We loved him. Even after what came later, there was no bitterness in our memory of him.”

● “Pauline and Cholly loved each other. He seemed to relish her company and even to enjoy her country ways and lack of knowledge about city things.”

Essay Structure On The Bluest Eye

A clear and logical format guarantees that the bluest eye essay remains focused and does not deviate from the addressed subject. As a rule of thumb, your essays on the bluest eye should include the beginning, the middle, and the end.

● Introduction

You want your essay’s start to be broad, but you don’t want to go too wide. This is also the section where you should provide background information on the subject. However, you should exercise caution and delay starting your argument for the time being.

Your introduction should include the bluest eye thesis statement. Some authors like to include their thesis in the last paragraph; however, this personal preference depends heavily on the author’s writing style.

● Body

When referring to paragraphs that follow the bluest eye introduction but before a conclusion, “body” is used. There should be at least three body paragraphs in a standard essay. Because of this, your essay’s total length will depend on how many ideas you have to convey. Additionally, the length of your essay is influenced by the facts you provide supporting your arguments.

● Conclusion

The conclusion of an academic essay is often overlooked. What connects your study to your thesis is the conclusion. Do not just reiterate or copy-and-paste the thesis statement from the beginning.

One of the most crucial functions of a conclusion is to tie together the main ideas mentioned in your essay and explain whether or not they support or oppose your main thesis.

Tips To Consider While Writing An Essay About The Bluest Eye

When there is no deadline, essay writing might be a real challenge. You don’t need to worry too much since we’ll provide some assistance in the form of hints and advice about the composition of essays.

Read The Book Thoroughly

Reading broadens your horizons and allows you to see things from new angles. While reading, you’re forming new ideas in your mind, such as pictures and views. It stimulates your creative thinking as well as your fantasies and imagination.

Find A Compelling Topic

Titles that pique the reader’s interest are essential. Use a provocative question or smart phrase to pique the interest of your audience, but make sure the bluest eye theme essay expresses the issue effectively.

Examples Of Good Essay Topics On The Bluest Eye

Create The Outline

Get an idea of what you want to convey before crafting an essay. It is why you must understand the themes of blue eyes. Also, before writing an essay, it is important to sketch up an outline that will serve as the basis for your thesis statement.

This is the fundamental form of an essay: an introduction with the thesis, body paragraphs providing evidence that supports the thesis, and a conclusion linking everything together and connecting it to the thesis. It’s a decent rule of thumb for an academic essay to have at least three strong arguments directly supporting the thesis statement.

Write The Thesis Statement

As a writer, a thesis statement is an assertion you want to make about your subject matter. Make use of the notes you created during brainstorming to find out what to say. Make a claim and explain or rationale for it in a full sentence.

Include A Lesson Or Moral

The major themes in the bluest eye expose the harsh realities of America’s racist 1940s culture. The story also depicts the ways in which it, together with a people’s dysfunctional family, may promote conceptions of self-hatred and skewed views of reality.

Conclusion: Proofread Your Work

Ensure that your work is free of mistakes. Read your writing out loud first. If anything doesn’t sound right, go back and fix it. Double-check your work to ensure that your punctuation, grammar, and spelling are all accurate. Check your essay one more time with a trusted buddy after you’re sure it’s flawless.


i. Why is the book The Bluest Eye banned?

As mentioned by critics, the film contains “sexually explicit content,” vivid descriptions, frightening language, and an “underlying socialist-communist goal.” According to one reviewer, it’s just not worth reading.

ii. What is the message of The Bluest Eye?

The Bluest Eye is mostly a narrative about the exploitation of women. Besides being subjected to racial persecution, the women in the story are also subjected to the tyranny and abuse of the males in their care. Several stages of femininity are depicted in the novel.

iii. Is The Bluest Eye difficult to read?

The Bluest Eye is not an easy book to get through. Pecola Breedlove, an impoverished, eleven-year-old Black girl, is the book’s protagonist and wishes she had blue eyes, a white beauty ideal that she cannot fulfill.

iv. Is The Bluest Eye Based on a true story?

Part of the narrative was based on a chat with a childhood friend who wished she had blue eyes. Morrison noted that “racial self-loathing” was “implicit in her longing.” The aspiring novelist was perplexed about how her young acquaintance had adopted society’s racial beauty standards.

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FAQ about The Bluest Eye

Beauty is Pain: What Society Sees versus What I See
...MARIANNE MODICA,“Resistance among Friends: The Bluest Eye.” Race among Friends: Exploring Race at a Suburban School, , Rutgers University Press, 2015, pp. 104–136. JSTOR, Accessed 22 Apr. 2020....