Toni Morrison, the author of the novel “the bluest eye” is known for her work as a teacher. Her experiences as an educator of all races and children from all kinds of walks of life brought her to an understanding of what life really is and how it is defined by the idea of having different elements that affect it. One of the most important themes that Morrison intended to show her readers is the eminent existence of discrimination in the society and how this issue basically affects the life of young children as they develop towards maturity.
Summary of the Story
The story she wrote revolved around the life of a young girl named Pecola. A young African American who felt the different facets of oppression in life that anyone could actually imagined of. Besides being born to an African American family, she was seen differently by her community due to the misfortunes that she has been encountering in her life as a teenager. She used to live with her parents Pauline and Cholly who both had their own miserable pasts that shaped their character and the relationship that they had wi
th Pecola. Pecola, being young as she is had to mingle with peers in school and in their community. Because of her color, she was regarded lesser than the others. This is practically because of the fact that in her community, “white” is beautiful and anything otherwise is considered less.
Being in this state, Pecola wanted nothing but to become a Caucasian with blue eyes. She later on found herself in a very compromising situation as her father rapes her and leaves her with a son. Although Pecola willingly gave birth to her son, the child did not make and died. In the later years of her life, she was accepted as a member of the MacTeer family in Ohio. Her desire of having a blue eye actually came true with the fact that her life has been the bluest representation of the experiences that she has had to deal with as she grew older.
Insights and Reflections
Upon the reading of the title itself “the bluest eye”, it first comes to mind the possible diversion of the topic where the story would likely be based on which is that of the actuality of the idea of the blue eyes or it could also reflect to the fact that a person having the “bluest eye” may have had experienced the hardships of living in a rather undeniably personally affecting manner. As the story opens by stating that the main protagonist of the story is an African American, it could be seen how the “blue eyes” could actually be related to somewhat the hardships that the main character may have to deal with simply because of her being an African American.
During the years when the story was written, racial discrimination was eminent in the society. Definitely, it could be observed that somehow, this particular eminence suggested most of the important facets of the story that lead to its completion. The experiences that an African American may go through as she tries to conceal herself from being a part of the minority in a society that loves the “whites” could be really personally devastating. Notably, these individuals, although remarkably skilled and smart, they are still considered by the society as a group of people that is less domineering and are not given the particular right to be appreciated. Likely, there is nothing wrong that they have done, they were simply born with a darker skin, something that was then detestable to the eyes of the society due to the belief that the ones favored by God were the ones gifted with a lighter complexion of skin.
Dating back to the history of African Americans, it could be expected that the protagonist may be a slave to a white family or a white lord. At some point, racial segregation basically affects being of the Black Americans, including that of their personal understanding of themselves. This fact has been a lengthened identification of the many African Americans that lived through time. Their stories of oppression and misfortunes trails back to the years when the White Americans lorded over them and their entire race; the time when they were valued nothing more than just a slave who ought to serve his master as if he was a property and not a person. The sad history of this race follows a pattern that up until now affects the people born as African Americans.
Implications of Oppression in the Narrative
As repeatedly mentioned, racial oppression and personal degradation are among the most important themes that connoted the existence of the protagonist of the story. Pecola, being a young lady was faced with the most tragic experiences in life that practically created a massive effect on how she matured and how she was able to live her life as a young individual trying to survive life as it is. Her experiences with her parents were actually an effect of a misguided past that her parents themselves experienced. Their unknowing approaches to making Pecola suffer the misfortunes of their life made her think less of herself, even lesser than what her community thinks of her.
Using the different elements of the story contributing to the maturity of Pecola, she was represented to have an opposite lifestyle with that of the MacTeers. This comparison and contrast among characters made the story much of a presentation of the reality that individuals belonging to the white race have in comparison with that of the ones belonging to the African American race. The life of the young African American girl Pecola noted the separation that her race has in connection with the lives of the white family that she had to live with. Although the MacTeers were considered different from other white Americans who oppressed their black brothers, they were rather used by the author to actually show the pressures that Pecola has been experiencing based on her personal desires of becoming “one of them”.
The Tripatriate Model and Pecola’s Being
As repeatedly mentioned, Pecola was pressured, stressed and pushed to the limit due to the experiences that she has had to deal with in life. Likely, these experiences of being pressured and being loaded down with insecurities characterized the well being of this young individual. Most probably, her constant engagement with the white community even makes her feel less of herself. Considering the tripartite model, Pecola was directly affected by the three major elements that suggests the developments of living and maturity that affects a human individual’s vision of himself or herself. These elements include that of the Physiological dependence, Psychological dependence and Behavioral Dependence. Likely, in the story, the author tried to present these elements through the use of the characters that roamed around the life of Pecola and the experiences that she has had to deal with while she encountered with somewhere within the story. Her constant longing to become a Caucasian girl who has blue eyes basically regarded the craving that she has which was stimulated by the pressure that her community gives her as they constantly remind her of her ugliness and the supposed undeniable truth that her skin is black. This longing when finally satisfied is supposed to give her the pleasure that might likely complete her life and erase all the bitter past that she dealt with. However, due to the idea that this craving is almost impossible to come true, she feels the stress that the society pushes her on in a rather more difficult position.
A Global View on Oppresion
Her life was a mirror of every individual who has been under or is still under the oppressive nature of human culture. The pressure is not only directed to the white race but is likely directed to all the minorities in the society. Due to the existence of globalization, the mix-up of cultures has become possible. However, although the mix-up may have seemed successful, handling the more important considerations with regards the inequality of the society and how its results affect the human relations and human growth basically creates issues of oppression that continuously forces each individual to become someone that they are not simply to be accepted by the community they are trying to live with.
Truthfully, the story of Pecola was a descriptive discussion of the more important issues that life is subjected to. Practically, her life is a depiction of the major concentration presented on the oppressions that are experienced by the minor members of the community. Basically, it could be noted that the different experiences she had as a young African American is not simply considered as actual misfortune of a minority in the society but also presented by the author as a basically defining factor that shows the ideal understanding on how the minorities perceive the importance of their existence in the society.
Considering the life that Pecola had to deal with, it could be noted that racial oppression is still one of today’s most inevitable causes of personal insecurity among those who are involved within the said issue of considerable inequality in the society. Like Pecola, these individuals have their own frustrations of simply being able to fit in the community and finally get over all the oppressions that they are primarily feeling. Doing so, they believe, would bring a certain sense of appreciation for what they are and a deep consideration on the possibility of satisfying themselves of the fact that they have already passed the years of issues on degradation and lowly belief on themselves. Practically though, instead of being fulfilled, most of their desires become a source of more inevitable frustrations that causes them more heartaches than what they could take. These misfortunes then bring them to a frustrating state that makes it harder for them to be satisfied. Believably, the oppression that they feel from the society are mere contributory factors to the actual self-insecurities that they already feel simply because of being a minority in the society that they already know.
This fact on racial inequality and economic distance among every individual living in the society today brings about the explanation as to why there are so many depressed persons around the globe at present. Likely, with these inevitable experiences present in the society today, being able to cope up with the most important issues in life becomes a burden and not a challenge to individuals involved within the state of oppressive position. Instead of focusing on growth, they need to deal with their desire of being accepted as an individual in their community who is equal with all the others.