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The Bluest of Eyes by Tony Morrison (Book Review Sample)


This sample is a book review of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. The paper used a single source, the book, The Bluest of Eyes to showcase how the idea of insanity has been presented throughout the book. The paper used quotes and phrases derived from the book to address the identified topic. The paper follows APA 7th edition format. It is Times New Roman Double Spaced throughout.


The Bluest of Eyes by Tony Morrison
Self-hatred is among the critical factors that destroy an individual. In the book, The Bluest of Eyes by Tony Morrison, the author showcases how self-hatred leads to an individual going insane. The text, The Bluest of Eyes, is based on the ultimate fate of a young girl known as Pecola. The protagonist acted as a scapegoat within the black community of the United States, as the void in their position within the American society exploded into the position of distaste and self-hatred. In the book, Morrison showcases how Pecola suffers from the twisted perception of beauty, and as a result, she absorbs the anger of disoriented black society. Among Pecola's accumulation of anger, she realizes a way out of ugliness is blues. Therefore, "blue eyes" become Pecola's primary goal. Pecola dissociates by going mad. Generally, in the book, Morrison accounts for stories of women exhibiting mental illness. The author provides an in-depth account of the psychological concept of dissociation.
In her foreword to The Bluest of Eyes, the author utilizes the language of disability in framing the issue of race and racism. Morrison states, “the tragic and disabling consequences of accepting rejection as legitimate” (ix). “Who made her feel that it was better to be a freak than what she was?” she inquires while reminiscing about the childhood friend who had developed the significant desire to acquire blue eyes. Morrison argues that the extremity linked to the insanity of Pecola stems from poor family grounds. Based on this, the author believes that some significant aspects tied to Pecola's woundability are a common trend for most young girls, who tend to inherently possess an unimaginable inner desire. In the foreword, what begins as a figuration of racism, internalized racism, coupled with the vulnerability of young women, becomes Pecola's manifestation of insanity. Indeed, this is a quite literal disability that is essentially accompanied by social ostracism and material consequences that have frequently affected the lives of impaired individuals. The author brings out the significant repercussions of internalized racism while indicting the failure of a community to save Pecola, thereby forcing a reflection of vulnerability associated with an intersectional identity that resonates with her, i.e., the black, poor girls.
In the case of the Breedloves, what was defined as beauty within the society was not something that they believed they could ever be. The Breedloves were essentially condemned by society for being ugly, and they fell into this labelling. It was hard for the Breedloves to overcome this kind of condemnation, and as a result, they raised their children in the same way. As a consequence, their children developed a sense of worthlessness and self-hatred, especially their younger daughter Pecola. Since her birth, Pecola was referred to be ugly by her mother. She was never provided with an opportunity to prove herself. “But I knowed she was ugly. Head full of pretty hair, but Lord she was ugly.” (Morrison 128). Pecola was never loved, besides being neglected. This contributed to Pecola developing self-hatred as she did not look like some who could be loved and adored by her parents. In essence, the author tends to describe some critical driving forces that lead one to insanity. Self-hatred toward Pecola was significant that she stares to fantasize, dream and manifest about being a pretty blue-eyed girl, and being loved by her parents. "It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes, those eyes that held the pictures and knew the sights—if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different….If she looked different, beautiful, maybe Cholly would be different, and Mrs Breedlove too. Maybe they'd say, ‘Why, look at pretty eyed Pecola. We mustn’t do bad things in front of those pretty eyes.’” (47). This was Pecola's dream, and it is a significant depiction of the genesis of insanity.

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