This book was very insightful. I will long remember it. It really changed the way I thought about outward appearances. The ending will shock you. Don't read ahead!! I recommend it to anyone courageous enough to look inward.
11 year old Pecola Breedlove wants blue eyes because then she'll be as beloved as the blond, blue-eyed children in America. But for Pecola's family, beauty seems to be nearly unattainable because they are black and live in poverty and pain. This story unfolds through the eyes of 11 yr old Claudia, as she watches Pecola's world change bit by painful bit.
Toni Morrison paints rich colors and beautiful songs with her words - this was my first exposure to T.Morrison, and I'll be reading more. What an amazing story.
Toni Morrison's stories are always brutally honest, endearing and reach deep into our souls. This novel highlights the great divide that still exists between races--one person at a time. I loved this book.
"The Bluest Eye, the story of a young girl's tortured life, is not a story you can "like". It reads like your worst nightmares, very disturbing and very graphic. It takes a strong stomach to get through this novel. But, this is just what makes the book a masterpiece, that Ms Morrison can draw such powerful feelings from readers. Toni Morrison has grown as a writer. But this book, her first, takes you to a world most didn't know existed and evokes almost unbearably strong emotions. A must read for lovers of great literature. This is not a book you read for pleasure. It's a book you read for the power of the written word."
- Roz Levine
I found this very difficult to read in one setting. Its a book to read, put down and think about, then pick up again. Disturbing, sad, hard to forget. I think I will be still processing this for months.
Wow! this was such a true to life book that grips what the true nature of mankind is really like. I read it in one day simply because I couldn't put it down and did not realize the time had gone by so fast. This should be reading for every HS or college 101 student.
This is a very good book. It's about a little african-american girl who wishes that she had blue eyes. She believed that girls with blue eyes were the most beautiful thing in the world. She decides that she will have blue eyes. She wants the blue eyes so much that she is nearly driven crazy. I really liked this book, it brought tears to my eyes. I suggest it.
I totally enjoyed this book. It was quick, easy read. Toni Morrison has a flare and eloquence for pulling you into the story...you can feel the surroundings, the emotions, and the suspense of the situations. It also makes you aware of the hardships, tragedies, and the injustices that the people of this era endured. In my opinion, it is an excellent read!
Toni Morrison is a tremendous writer who really makes me think, and this book was no exception. The details of the story are absolutely tragic- a young girl is raped by her father and bears his baby, who dies. Meanwhile, she's so full of socially-created self-hatred that she wishes for blue eyes, which she comes to believe she's been given. The writing in this book is astonishing. Morrison has managed to produce something more than unmitigated sadness, even though so many details of the story are tremendously sad. This is a powerful book.
Toni Morrison is a truly great writer. As is true for most of her books, the story was dark at times and there were parts where Morrison did ramble. However, that did not distract from the potent, realistic, and raw realities of American culture and the African-American experience portrayed in the story. The story leaves a sour taste in your mouth; regardless, I was glad to have taken the opportunity to read such a remarkable book.
This was Tony Morrison's first novel. Takes place in the author's hometown of Lorain, Ohio in the early 40's. Pecola Breedlove who loved all of the blue eyed children in America. She wished her eyes would turn blue, so that she would be beautiful, so that people would look at her, so that her world would be different. The story ofthe nightmare at the heart of her yearning and the tragedy of its fullfillment.
Toni writes a powerful book depicting a very poor African American girl, Pecola Breedlove, whose biggest desire is to have blue eyes so other blacks and whites can like her, and maybe even love her. Unfortunately for Pecola, she is quite unattractive and thinks blue eyes will transform her. Humiliated, insulted, raped and pitied in her own neighborhood, Pecola is a perfect victim. Yet, unlike many other victims in this country, she has nowhere to go nor anyone to mentor her into the healthy womanhood of self-acceptance and self-esteem. Nor do the other young girls in the neighborhood. The best they can do for survival is to become aggressive while at the same time fulfilling the roles of early motherhood and poverty as taught to them by their elders. Pecola has no such survival skills. Through the intervention of a psychic, she ends up believing that her eyes are truly blue. Even when she looks in the mirror, she sees blue eyes. But eventually it isn't enough for Pecola. She ends up wanting to have the bluest eyes in world and nothing else will satisfy her. It's a sad tale that's told with Ms. Morrison's ear for poetic language. The manner of telling makes it a beautiful book. The book stayed with me many days after I finished it.
Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison's virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.
This was a very powerful book which shows that the way people are treated has a very big impact on their life. Everyone wants to be beautiful and loved but that is not a reality. Morrison brings out the themes of love and injustice to show how they impact on everyone's life. This book taught me that even though we are all different on the outside, everybody feels and looks the same on the inside. I would recommend this book to everyone as I feel it is a very worthwhile read.
I read this book in one of my college classes. I enjoyed it very much but there is a lot of stuff in it that is very hard to read and get through; a lot of hard topics. But it is a very good book; well written & though provoking.
Toni Morrison is an excellent author. This book really changed my perspective. The story is told through the eyes of a black, eleven-year-old who prays for her eys to turn blue so that she will be as beauitful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. Powerful and unforgettable.
I love this book. The innocent observation of a child should lead all of us to wonder what messages we as a society send. It is written with grace, simplicity and a wonderful thought-provoking meaning.
Each night Pecola prayed for blue eyes. In her eleven years, no one had ever noticed Pecola. But with blue eyes, she thought, everything would be different. She would be so pretty that her parents would stop fighting. Her father would stop drinking. Her brother would stop running away. If only she could be beautiful. If only people would look at her. When someone finally did, it was her father, drunk. He raped her. Soon she would bear his child ...
It truly is difficult to know where to begin with Toni Morrisons The Bluest Eye because it was certainly not an easy read. So perhaps Ill have to begin with a narcissistic approach and reveal that the book caught my attention because it was on a banned book list somewhere. Maybe it reached that futile list for what some might deem strong sexual content as the first two lines of the introduction will reveal to you: Quiet as its kept, there were no marigolds in the fall of 1941. We thought, at the time, that it was because Pecola was having her fathers baby that the marigolds did not grow. YesI would not put it in an elementary school childs hand as assigned reading; however, I would never keep it out of the hands of high school or even junior high school students either because it is a good learning tool.
Additionally, the afterward (written in 1993) helped since Toni Morrison explained that rape is (or once was) routinely given. (215) Im still not entirely sure if the character, Soaphead Church, needed to be a pedophile in order to deliver the message that Pecola wanted blue eyes and that shed be the only one able to see it. In the afterward, Toni Morrison also noted how the phrase, Quiet as its kept, had a dual purpose. 1) To introduce the scenario that the facts are being seen through children; and 2) it was supposed to invite the reader into a sort of secret. Again, narcissistic, but the latter didnt work for me since my first thought with the explanation of being put outdoors was of one entering a new world.
I suppose the gist of the story could be seen through the word: Love. In autumn, Claudia expresses how her mother was tough on her and her sister but it was love nonetheless. There was a mistaken love that both Pecolas mother and father accepted and displayed. Then there was the complete lack of love, which Pecola experienced.
This thin novel is full of pain and wonder. It is the story of three young black girls living in Ohio in the 1940s, one yearning for blue eyes to make her beautiful. It is beautifully written and heartbreaking to read.
This book is written in the most poetic language. Toni Morrison is one of my favorite writers of all time and, in my opinion, this is her best work (I have not read all of them although I am getting very close). A must-read.
Truly one the most amazing books I have ever read. Heartbreaking, poignant, written so beautifully it will make you cry--and tells a story that we should all never forget. A true must-read. Nobel Prize Winner.
THe following is an excerpt from the back cover of the book:
"The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison's first novel, a book heralded for its richness of language and boldness of vision. Set in the author's girlhood town of Lorain, Ohio, it tells the story of black, 11 year old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful and beloved as all the blonde, blue eyed children in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigolds in the Breedlove's garden do not bloom, Pecola's life does change - in painful, devestating ways."
This book won the Nobel Prize in Literature. It was an Oprah's book club selection, and also won other awards----but, frankly, it kinda scared me.
From back cover:
Set in the author's girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio, (this book) tells the story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove. Pecola prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beartiful and beloved as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. In the autumn of 1941, the year the marigolds in the Breedloves' garden do not bloom, Pecola's life does change---in painful, devastating ways.
Toni Morrison uses language so beautifully! This is a story that needs to be read over and over again.
Young Pecola Breedlove really believes that in order to be considered beautiful, she would have to have blue eyes. Being black, she knows that she is considered ugly in most eyes. Everything and everyone around her says that she is not as good as white little girls with blonde hair and blue eyes.
"Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another - physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion. In equating physical beauty with virtue, she stripped her mind, bound it, and collected self-contempt by the heap. She forgot lust and simple caring for. She regarded love as possessive mating, and romance as the goal of the spirit. It would be for her a well-spring from which she would draw the most destructive emotions, deceiving the lover and seeking to imprison the beloved, curtailing freedom in every way."
This book was ok. I struggled to get though and actually finish the book. I now understand why it was controversial at the time it was written. The content of the book did not surprise me much. I have read much worse and those I have read were real life situations. We have come a long way since 1970!
Oprah Book Club® Selection, April 2000: Originally published in 1970, The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison's first novel. In an afterword written more than two decades later, the author expressed her dissatisfaction with the book's language and structure: "It required a sophistication unavailable to me." Perhaps we can chalk up this verdict to modesty, or to the Nobel laureate's impossibly high standards of quality control. In any case, her debut is nothing if not sophisticated, in terms of both narrative ingenuity and rhetorical sweep. It also shows the young author drawing a bead on the subjects that would dominate much of her career: racial hatred, historical memory, and the dazzling or degrading power of language itself.
It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove--a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others--who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment.