Eally is a must readFino s Toni Morrison ReviewsThe Bluest EyeSulaSong Of SolomonTar BabyBelovedJazzParadise Being a minority in both caste and class we moved about anyway on the hem of life struggling to consolidate our weaknesses and hang on or to creep singly up into the major olds of the garment Our peripheral existence however was something we had learned to deal with probably because it was abstract Toni Morrison The Bluest EyeI m rereading Morrison s books in chronological order in 2016 and I created a private group here on Goodreads Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the '86 Mets for aew of us who are interested in doing the same thing Discussing this book with others has been very interesting because we all have different perspectives and can share them expanding our own understanding of the book it s been a great experienceIt s been our years since I irst read The Bluest Eye and I was extremely touched and saddened by it the Clawback first time around I count it as one of myavourite Morrison books and I m glad to say that after a reread it s still very much so I m trying hard to ind the words to describe how I eel about this book and it s still hard because it s a gut wrenching book which I love though love sounds like the wrong word Sugar in the Raw: Voices of Young Black Girls in America for it how can I love a book that isilled with so much pain sadness and grief This book condenses so much tragedy despair and sadness in a relatively small space What do you Cooking for Company focus on It can get a bit overwhelming Morrison s advice seems to be There is really nothing to say except why But since why is difficult to handle one must take refuge in howWhenever I discuss this book with people I know Pecola is often theirst name that comes up Pecola the poor unloved child who prayed Empire of Sin for blue eyes It was hard not to draw comparisons between her and Celie The Colour Purple another abused black girl who was called ugly by all those around her And I think of all the little black girls I ve known who hated being black who hated their hair their noses their eye colour who prayedor good hair lighter skin complexion etcMorrison shows the vulnerability of children so well and the conseuences of parents not telling them what they need to know in enough detail which results in them being Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China forced to draw conclusions on their own What they aren t told they gleanrom observations and discussions with each other Sometimes the truth isn t known until they are older My mother s anger humiliates me her words chafe my cheeks and I am crying I do not know that she is not angry at me but at my sicknessThere are so many parts of the book that show children as voiceless black children in particular There s the issue of representation and how the white dolls our parents thought we wanted probably did harm than good I think this is an important book in revealing the other America My book had an afterword by Morrison which I m so glad I read I had no idea that this book was inspired by a conversation she d had with an elementary school My Wife's Affair friend who prayedor blue eyes It s conversations like this that never leave you it seems but it might take you until you are an adult to understand the true meaning of what those words held and what they say about our society Like Malcolm X asked Who taught you to hate yourself Chicken, Chicken, Duck! from the top of your head to the soles of youreet And twenty years later I was still wondering about how one learns that Who told her Who made her Inspirations feel that it was better to be areak than what she was Who had looked at her and ound her so wanting so small a weight on the beauty scaleI ocused therefore on how something as grotesue as the demonization of an entire race could take root inside the most delicate member of society a child the most vulnerable member a Move Over, Victoria--I Know the Real Secret: Surrendering the Lies That Bind You to the God Who Frees You female Toni Morrison The Bluest Eye afterword 455 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 Toni Morrison The Bluest EyeI have several reading goalsor 2019 get some big books off my Want to Read list explore Asian writing and visit authors I have missed along my reading journey One of the most glaring omissions on this list was Toni Morrison So with the advice of my Slo Mo! friend Rowena I selected THE BLUEST EYE to right that wrong I am wowed by Morrison s writing talents I wish I d have ventured to her world soonerTHE BLUEST EYE may well be the saddest book I have ever read Uponinishing this novel I elt like I d been sucker punched The events that took place in this world were devastating Morrisson s novel is as ar Pirates, Ships, and Sailors from the childhood world Ray Bradbury created in Dandelion Wine as imaginable Both took place in the Midwest in the late 20 s early 30 s andocus on childhood This is where the similarities endAs painful as this book is to read at times it is a beautifully written novel Morrison is a poet at heartThe story is told by a minor character Claudia a young girl and riend of Pecola s her innocence offers a rawness to the story that would have been lost if narrated by Pecola or an older character Morrison brilliantly uses the passing of the seasons to tell this story Each season take place in a different time period and ollows a different character in her or his life we learn the back stories of Pecola s people through this In the War Made New: Technology, Warfare, and the Course of History: 1500 to Today final pages of this book we see how all these people make up parts of Pecola s story Morrison writes of race better than any other writer I can think of She touches not on race in general but writes about various themes regarding race here the central theme being that Pecola s desireor blue eyes is showing the social context that views blue eyes which in this case is the epitome of whiteness as the standard of beauty Every girl black or white should strive to be like Shirley Temple Morrison also deftly writes on parenting and A Boy in Winter family dynamics When Claudiaaces an unwanted eve his mother did not like him to play with niggers She had explained to him the difference between colored people and niggers They were easily identifiable Colored people were neat and uiet niggers were dirty and loudThe line between colored and nigger was not always clear subtle and telltale signs threatened to erode it and the watch had to be constantWhile I was not the biggest Frost at Midnight fan of Morrison s style in this novel I didully appreciate the dagger sharp insight that she brought to the color caste system that is so prevalent in African American culture even today Her dialogue rang so true I could hear it coming directly out of my mother s mouth my grandmother s mouth and those of all of the women who ve ever Princess Baby, Night-Night filled our kitchens with raucous communalun and glum communal tragedy alike Her use of the Dick Jane children s books used The Pentagon Papers: Making History at the Washington Post for decades to teach children to read SEEMOTHERMOTHERISVERYNICEMOTHERWILLYOUPLAYWITHJANEMOTHERLAUGHSLAUGHMOTHERLAUGHLA created a chilling ironic and staggering contrast between the lives of the whites and those of the blacks in this novel Shirley Temple Mary Jane candies and Jean Harlow hairstyles you llind the delicacy of all of them here both in these characters reality and in metaphor While the truth and injustices here were often sobering to read they were Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution filled with too much truth to rightfully deny or turn awayrom I could spend hours discussing this novel I could uote On a Cold Road: Tales of Adventure in Canadian Rock from it all day but I won t do that because the entire read was poignant and so crisply aware of the color line the how and the why that there is no one point that can overshadow another in the message that these words aimed to send This novel is older than I am and yet it still rings with such verity with such biting truth and reality With The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison cut open the existence of both internalized and externalized racism in America and laid it bare and exposed at oureet For that she deserves nothing but reverence and applause so she will always have that rom meAnyone who s ever been in doubt of a color line in Black America should read this book Anyone who s ever uestioned But why can t I say those words when you say them all the time But why do you still believe that racism exists Why can t you just get over it the past is the past should read this book In act just read this book anyway how about that. YsWhat its vivid evocation of the ear and loneliness at the heart of a child's yearning and the tragedy of its ulfillment The Bluest Eye remains one of Toni Morrisons's most powerful unforgettable novels and a significant work of American ictio.
Everything was there in them All of those pictures all of those aces loc 599Pecola was I Love My Dad (Disney Princess) for me a truly heartbreaking characterEach night withoutail she prayed Flight, Vol. 7 for blue eyes Ferventlyor a year she had prayed Although somewhat discouraged she was not without hope To have something as wonderful as that happen would take a long long time Thrown in this way into the binding conviction that only a miracle could relieve her she would never know her beauty She would see only what there was to see the eyes of other people loc 616The problem of peaking too early and being considered a weed instead of a lowerNobody loves the head of a dandelion Maybe because they are so many strong and soon loc 626Sad description but so aptShe looks up at him and sees the vacuum where curiosity ought to lodge And something The total absence of human recognition the glazed separateness loc 643There is always humanity and humor in Morisson s work Well this hippo had a ball back in Chicago Whoa Jesus ninety nine How come you always say Whoa Jesus and a number Pecola had long wanted to know Because my mama taught me never to cuss Did she teach you not to drop your drawers China asked Didn t have none said Marie Never saw a pair of drawers till I was ifteen when I left Jackson and was doing day work in Cincinnati My white lady gave me some old ones of hers I thought they was some kind of stocking cap I put it on my head when I dusted When she saw me she liked to ell out p 729A poignant description of winterBy the time this winter had stiffened itself into a hateful knot that nothing could loosen something did loosen it or rather someone A someone who splintered the knot into silver threads that tangled us netted us made us long or the dull chafe of the previous boredom loc 800The mystery of racism to childrenWhat was the secret What did we lack Why was it important And so what Guileless and without vanity we were still in love with ourselves then We Camp Rex felt comfortable in our skins enjoyed the news that our senses released to us admired our dirt cultivated our scars and could not comprehend this unworthiness loc 983How a town s name can make some people dreamWhen you ask them where they arerom they tilt their heads and say Mobile and you think you ve been kissed They say Aiken and you see a white butterfly glance off a ence with a torn wing They say Nagadoches and you want to say Yes I will You don t know what these towns are like but you love what happens to the air when they open their lips and let the names ease out loc 1069This is so beautifulThat is what she herself did But to ind out the truth about how dreams die one should never take the word of the dreamer loc 1424 as is thisShe had not known there was so much laughter in the world p 1498Ostensibly this paragraph is about rotting teeth but it is also about how repeated violence rots out the inside of many many womenAnd then she lost her ront tooth But there must have been a speck a brown speck easily mistaken or When Dads Don't Grow Up food but which did not leave which sat on the enamelor months and grew until it cut into the surface and then to the brown putty underneath Miles from Kara finally eating away to the root but avoiding the nerves so its presence was not noticeable or uncomfortable Then the weakened roots having grown accustomed to the poison responded one day to severe pressure and the toothell Pee Wee Scouts treasury (Pee Wee Scouts, free leaving a ragged stump behind But even before the little brown speck there must have been the conditions the setting that would allow it to exist in theirst place loc 1501Such a wise deconstruction of romantic love and physical beauty in society s eyesAlong 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 loc 1572The horror of a white hospital treating black pregnant womenWhen he got to me he said now these here women you don t have any trouble with They deliver right away and with no pain Just like horses The young ones smiled a little They looked at my stomach and between my legs They never said nothing to me Only one looked at me Looked at my ace I mean I looked right back at him He dropped his eyes and turned red He knowed I reckon that maybe I weren t no horse oaling loc 1607Beautiful description of reedomThey were in act and at last High Heat free And the lives of these old black women were synthesized in their eyes a pur e of tragedy and humor wickedness and serenity truth andantasy loc 1794One of Toni s ingenious sentences in this wonderful novelOnly they would know how to connect the heart of a red watermelon to the asafetida bag to the muscadine to the lashlight on his behind to the ists of money to the lemonade in a Mason jar to a man called Blue and come up with what all of that meant in joy in pain in anger in love and give it its inal and pervading ache of reedom loc 2076I had to look up Moirai which turns out to mean the Fates Public act becomes private reality and the seasons of a Midwestern town become the Moirai of our small lives loc 2395Incredibly powerful passages continuedI thought about the baby that everybody wanted dead and saw it very clearly It was in a dark wet place its head covered with great O s of wool the black ace holding like nickels two clean black eyes the A treatise on the law of marital rights in Texas flared nose kissing thick lips and the living breathing silk of black skin loc 2433A little black girl yearnsor the blue eyes of a little white girl and the horror at the heart of her yearning is exceeded only by the evil of ulfillment loc 2659 Even her waking dreams we used to silence our own nightmares And she let us and thereby deserved our contempt We honed our egos on her padded our characters with her railty and yawned in the Lots of Hearts fantasy of our strength loc 2676The sadate of PecolaWe substituted good grammar or intellect we switched habits to simulate maturity we rearranged lies and called it truth seeing in the new pattern of an old idea the Revelation and the Word She however stepped over into madness a madness which protected her rom us simply because it bored us in the end loc 2680A beautiful sad endingAnd Cholly loved her I m sure he did He at any rate was the one who loved her enough to touch her envelop her give something of himself to her But his touch was Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession with Weight Loss fatal and the something he gave herilled the matrix of her agony with death Love is never any better than the lover Wicked people love wickedly violent people love violently weak people love weakly stupid people love stupidly but the love of a Don't Hex with Texas free man is never safe There is no giftor the beloved The lover alone possesses his gift of love The loved one is shorn neutralized rozen in the glare of the lover s inward eye loc 2683This book should probably be considered post modern in the sense that the narration moves rom character to character and it is up to the reader to intuit the speaker and the time at which the action is happening True love as represented by the blue eyes and blond hair seen in the movies Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation freuented by Frieda and Claudia as well as Pauline and most of all Pecola is as inaccessible as their parents understanding leading them to either steel themselves againsteeling like their mothers have or go insanePauline It would be Pajama Party for her the well springrom which she would draw the most destructive emotions deceiving the lover and seeking to imprison the beloved curtailing Bunco Babes Tell All freedom in every wayAs Wright and Ellison had described as well life in the North was not a safehavenree Every Day by the Sun: A Memoir of the Faulkners of Mississippi from racism Cholly was just as invisible in Ohio as he would have been in Mobile The White ticket counter is stillorbidden him when he buys his ticket to see his Bringing the Outside In father His Aunt and the women that raised him ran the house of white people and knew it When white men beat their men they cleaned up the blood and went home to receive abuserom the victimThe cycle of violence eeds on itself leading to tragic conseuences or each of the charactersIn today s amerikkka of immigration uotas race baiting and continued white police on black violence The Bluest Eye still remains as relevant today as when Toni Morrison published it in 1970 23 years before 1993 the year she was justly awarded the Nobel Prize or Literature It R eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful 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 wa.
Just a ew days ago I happened to have a conversation with someone uite a well read person too who said uite casually almost in an offhand manner how he Close to Hugh found books written by women uninteresting On prodding himor the reason behind his disinterest he replied that books written by women just do not engage him I didn t have the heart to ask him why a second timeAnd there it sat between us this knowledge of his disdain Women and Self Esteem for women writersor some hitherto unknown reason like a breathing venom spitting invisible monster uietly killing our conversation thankfullyNo evasion Not even a half hearted attempt at rescuing an uncomfortable situation A wholly unabashed Toy to Toy (Disney/Pixar Toy Story 3) flat out declaration made with the confident self righteous air of a reader who knows what good reading should consist of and when it comes to that excludeIn retrospect when I dwell on the memory of this horrendous very real conversation I experience a crushing hopelessness It s not that particular guy I am mad at No He is only a minuscule part of the universal malady afflicting our collective psyche It is this spirited toleranceor continued ignorance and apathy that infuriates me so This tradition of belittling the Charity female voice which speaks of personal sexual gratification love marriage and childbirth of the tyranny of beauty thatorces her to adhere desperately to some predetermined standard of physical perfection the right angle to her cheekbones the right slope to her nose the right lushness to her eyelashes the right curve to her hips the right skin color to match her hair and her eyes All of this is terribly uninteresting isn t it It was as though some mysterious all knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear and they had each accepted it without uestion The master had said You are ugly people They had looked about themselves saw nothing to contradict the statement saw in act support or it leaning at them Catch and Release: Trout Fishing and the Meaning of Life from every billboard every movie every glance Yes they had said You are right And they took the ugliness in their hands threw it as a mantle over them and went about the world with it So what if she is a Nobel laureate So what if she created the most haunting poignant and unforgettable elegy to the horrors that American slavery spawned So what if she has crafted an eleven year old ugly and unfortunate Pecola Breedlove with the utmost sincerity So what if she has made her ugly and unfortunate Pecola yearnor a shred of love and dignity in vain till her last days So what if she has tried to shed some light on the unloved the mercilessly trodden upon rejects of a community caught in the vicious trap of atal self loathing So what if she has thought up a newer way to deconstruct the violence of a sexual crime by removing the convenient glamour of shame routinely heaped on the victim So what if she has tried to bestow humanity even on the ones beyond redemption So what if she has offered a window into a world where a million and one injustices compete or primacy every momentSuch trifling womanly subject matters do not mesh well with the reading tastes of a man After all the Doris Lessings and Elfriede Jelineks Nadine Gordimers and Alice Munros Zora Neale Hurstons and Zadie Smiths the Jhumpa Lahiris and the Banana Yoshimotos the Bront sisters and Virginia Woolfs writewrote books Road Map to Holland: How I Found My Way Through My Son's First Two Years with Down Syndrome for only women to read and appreciate Women can t paint women can t write It hurts to know that the Charles Tansleys of the world are alive and well But thankfully we have the Toni Morrisons to restore some balance Toni Morrison is one of myavorite authors I discovered her writing with Beloved or which have a copy signed by her at a reading in Brooklyn of Jazz decades ago In The Bluest Eye she looks at the intersection of racism self hatred poverty and sexuality with realism and her beautifully descriptive writing style The book starts off with one of Toni Morisson s typically powerful opening linesuiet as it s kept there were no marigolds in the all of 1941 We thought at the time that it was because Pecola was having her Fashion Faux Paw father s baby that the marigolds did not grow loc 110 We see thislower analogy towards the end of the novel again Beautiful but hopeless proseOur innocence and Pillars of Light faith were no productive than his lust or despair loc 118 as well asThere is really nothing to say except why But since why is difficult to handle one must take refuge in how loc 121A beautiful metaphoror living in a racist societyBeing a minority in both caste and class we moved about anyway on the hem of life struggling to consolidate our weaknesses and hang on or to creep singly up into the major olds of the garment loc 235I liked the eminist message in this paragraph on how girls are given dolls to instruct them subconsciously in their Solibo Magnificent future roles as caretakers thus why I didn t buy dollsor my daughterI was interested only in humans my own age and size and could not generate any enthusiasm at the prospect of being a mother Motherhood was old age and other remote possibilities I learned uickly however what I was expected to do with the doll rock it Cheetahs' Craving fabricate storied situations around it even sleep with it Picture books wereull of little girls sleeping with their dolls Raggedy Ann dolls usually but they were out of the uestion I was physically revolted by and secretly New People frightened of those round moronic eyes the pancakeace and orangeworms hair loc 265The beautiful difference between what people think she wants and what she really wantsHad any adult with the power to ulfill my desires taken me seriously and asked me what I wanted they would have known that I did not want to have anything to own or to possess any object I wanted rather to eel something on Christmas day The real uestion would have been Dear Claudia what experience would you like on Christmas I could have spoken up I want to sit on the low stool in Big Mama s kitchen with my lap Driving Hungry: A Memoir full of lilacs and listen to Big Papa play his violinor me alone loc 287How mass culture is used to instill a racist hierarchy of beauty and valueThe best hiding place was love Thus the conversion The Museum of Us from pristine sadism toabricated hatred to raudulent love It was a small step to Shirley Temple I learned much later to worship her just as I learned to delight in cleanliness knowing even as I learned that the change was adjustment without improvement loc 304Wow this is one mean low down couch It withheld the refreshment in a sleep slept on it It imposed a urtiveness on the loving done on it Like a sore tooth that is not content to throb in isolation but must diffuse its own pain to other parts of the body making breathing difficult vision limited nerves unsettled so a hated piece of urniture produces a retful malaise that asserts itself throughout the house and limits the delight of things not related to it loc 495Brutal about how we eel we are perceived modifies behavior and thinking and reinforces povertyThey lived there because they were poor and black and they stayed there because they believed they were ugly Although their poverty was traditional and stultifying it was not uniue But their ugliness was uniueYou looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly you looked closely and could not ind the source Then you realized that it came Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity from conviction their conviction loc 505 511How our dreams eventually lose out to realityThisamily on a Saturday morning in October began one by one to stir out of their dreams of affluence and vengeance into the anonymous misery of their storefront loc 520Fascinating the two Christs hereCholly was beyond redemption of course and redemption was hardly the point Mrs Breedlove was not interested in Christ the Redeemer but rather Christ the Judge loc 555How hate can be self sustainingHating her he could leave himself intact loc 562The downward spiral of toxic masculinityEven a half remembrance of this episode along with myriad other humiliations defeats and emasculations could stir him into Your Money Ratios: 8 Simple Tools for Financial Security flights of depravity that surprised himself but only himself Somehow he could not astound He could only be astounded So he gave that up too loc 565The eye analogy is naturally one of the most important throughout the entire bookTry as she might she could never get her eyes to disappear So what was the point They were everything. The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison'sirst novel a book heralded Americas Bitter Pill for its richness of language and boldness of vision Set in the author's girlhood hometown of Lorain Ohio it tells the story of black eleven year old Pecola Breedlove Pecola praysor he.
The Bluest Eye