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The Bluest Eye Literary Analysis

671 words - 3 pages

Josh Kloosterman

The Bluest Eye literary analysis

Beauty is a perceptual scope that the reader looks through while reading the bluest eye in its entirety. It is the focus of ideals and issues within the book the Bluest eye. Beauty or lack of is the major motivator for decisions and/or consequences throughout the story. It can define who you are in terms of society and where you fit in, but does it have to?
Supposedly, in this country we call home, if you work hard enough you can have whatever your heart desires. In the Bluest eye All Pecola Breedlove wanted was to have blue eyes or in her mind, be beautiful. She believed because of what society had taught her that those whom are beautiful have blue eyes and blonde hair. This is a social institution which has been part of America’s culture since the beginning of the U.S. We must look a certain way, have a specific occupation, or live in a ...view middle of the document...

"If she looked different, beautiful, maybe they'd say, 'why, look at pretty-eyed Pecola. We mustn't do bad things in front of those pretty eyes'" (46). Those eyes were the very definition of beauty and how if you have beauty society accepts you and treats you nicely. Pecola and her family represents those that strive to belong in a narrow minded society which one side of the story. Pauline is sort of the other side where she had more of a “white person” identity. It was through the Fisher family that she found a sense of acceptance.
Claudia was the opposite of Pecola and her family. She was proud of who she was. She embraced her heritage and refused the stereotypes thrust at her. When she was given a white, blond haired blue eyed baby doll, she did not love it, instead, she destroyed them. This shows yet another side in the story. It contests the idea that beauty even holds power if you embrace life and everything you have within it. Claudia’s desire to gain knowledge and experience above all saved her from falling into the idea that she was not as good as the little blond doll who was supposed to represent beauty. Again, this made a strong statement to the fact that you don’t have to be anyway but yourself to be beautiful.
In today’s world the question of beauty and its relevance to your place in society is still prevalent. It gives some privileges over others, it shows who we idolize, it aids in segregation in terms of how you look (not so much race), and drives people to want anything but what they have. This idea of beauty and its control over what you can or cannot have/achieve is all around us. If it were not people would generally not feel the need to constantly modify their body and looks. This could include eye color changing contacts and hair die to other more intense forms of body modifications. Unfortunately because of the consumer nation we live in, the history of our culture, and the fact everyone is different, the longing to look a certain way deemed “beautiful” is always present. Beauty does not have to shape your reality, but in America we are subconsciously raised with the notion we have to look a certain way to fit in or succeed.

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