The black characters of the The Bluest Eye have been taught to believe that whiteness is the paragon of beauty. The characters are constantly subjected to images of whiteness offered through movies, books, candy, magazines, toys, and advertisements. Early in the novel, Pecola and Frieda gush over Shirley Temple's beauty, and later, Mrs. Breedlove spends her days at the movies admiring the white actresses, wishing she could access their world. The association between beauty and…(read full theme analysis)
At its core, The Bluest Eye is a story about the oppression of women. The novel's women not only suffer the horrors of racial oppression, but also the tyranny and violation brought upon them by the men in their lives. The novel depicts several phases of a woman's development into womanhood. Pecola, Frieda, and Claudia, the novel's youngest female characters, possess a limited and idealistic view of what it means to be a woman…(read full theme analysis)
Home in The Bluest Eye represents more than the physical structure where a family lives. In Morrison's novel, home is an idea that defines the characters' sense of self and self-worth, and likewise, informs the way they are perceived by those around them. The homes depicted in The Bluest Eye are set against an ideal image of home and family, presented in the novel's opening section written in the style of a Dick and Jane…(read full theme analysis)
In The Bluest Eye, sex is associated with violence, humiliation, and immorality. Instead of sex being an enjoyable act between two people, sex, like race and beauty standards, works as a form of oppression. For both men and women, sexual initiation has devastating effects on an individual's life and sense of self. The scenes of sexual initiation are particularly violent and humiliating, leaving a lasting effect on the novel's characters.
Cholly's first sexual experience…(read full theme analysis)