The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is the latest book I had to read for my Intro to Lit class. I found it completely unrelatable and a disturbing read. There so much about this book I can’t say because I don’t want to give anything away!
When we first got to this book I expected it to be, possibly, about a girl with one blue eye and the other green (heterochromi). I had no clues or ideas about what the book was going to be about. I probably should’ve done some research but the teacher had said at the beginning of the semester that we mightn’t be reading the Bluest Eye, so I didn’t bother.
Boy was my one prediction about the book completely wrong! Here’s the summary on the back of the book:
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 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.
Toni Morrison truly did an amazing job with this book. She wrote about poverty, social class, rape and prostitutes, the social norms we hold for beauty, bullying, mental illness, and she does it so in such a page-turning way that it captures you from the very beginning. The book is set in the depression, in the house hold of some very poor families, warning: you have to read through two rapes scenes (which are disturbing but a ground breaking part of the characters), a small but pivotal part is dedicated to three prostitutes, Pecola’s desire to look like Shirley Temple or the pretty blonde girls with blue eyes on her candies is saddening, the bullying she endures, and the possible mental illness of multiple characters will keep you hooked on this book.
In truth, the Bluest Eye would have never been a book I read on my own time. I tend to read classic, romance novels; my book shelf is full with books from Not That Kind of Girl to Jane Eyre, the Spectacular Now to Love, Rosie (one of my favorites!!), Brain on Fire and the Opposite of Loneliness (two more of my absolute favorites), and way too many more.
The Bluest Eye may not be my typical kind of book, but I’m insanely glad I got to read it! It opened my eyes even more to the effect our social norms (for beauty in particular) have on kids, while bringing a bit of a feminist mind set along for the read.
Have you read the Bluest Eye? What were your thoughts on it? Leave a comment below!
Have any book recommendations? From classics to now, let me know what books your loving in the comments below!!