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The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, a moving story of a young black girl and her deep desire to be accepted in the white world. It is a poignant depiction of the lives of the black Americans.
Summary Of The Book
Published in 1970, The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison's first novel. The Bluest Eye is the story of Pecola Breedlove. A young black girl, Pecola yearns for a normal life. She yearns to be 'normal', like the other white children around her. Tired of being laughed at for being different, for not being beautiful, Pecola desperately prays for 'blue eyes' and for beauty. Pecola wishes for acceptance, so that she is treated differently. She desperately wants her life to change. Her life does change, but in all unwanted ways. The Bluest Eye is a moving story of an eleven year old black girl, her childhood, her desperate desire to fit in, how her life disintegrates, and how she finally loses her sanity.
One of Morrison's most powerful works, The Bluest Eye was also one of her more controversial works, with themes of racism, incest and child molestation. Like all of Morrison's works, her first novel also depicts black culture and traditions. One of the most prominent African American writers, Morrison's focus is also on the being black in America. She concentrates on the plight of black women who have to put up with racism, as well as suffering at the hands of black men.
The novel also has some autobiographical shades. The setting is Lorain, the place where Morrison grew up. Claudia's struggling family take in Pecola who comes from a broken home with parents who are always fighting. 9 year old Claudia also shares many other things with the author. Like Claudia, Morrison too grew up listening to her Grandpa's violin and her mother's singing. Pecola resembles a little black girl Morrison knew in her childhood, who also yearned for blue eyes.
About Toni Morrison
Toni Morrison was born Chloe Ardelia Wofford in Lorain, Ohio in February 1931. She became a Catholic at the age of 12, and was renamed Anthony, which later became 'Toni'. Tar Baby, Song Of Solomon, Jazz, Beloved, Love, Paradise, A Mercy, and Home are a few of her novels. The Black Book, Playing In The Dark, and Remember: The Journey To School Integration are some of the non-fiction works by Morrison.
Morrison completed her BA in English from Howard University, and her MA from Cornell University. She then started her teaching career as an instructor at Texas Southern University. Since then, she has taught at several universities including Howard University, Princeton University, Yale University, and Bard College. Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988 for her novel, Beloved and also won the American Book Award. In 1993, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In May 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Morrison has also been awarded several honorary degrees. Married in 1958, Morrison had 2 children before her divorce in 1964. She then moved to New York, where she began working as a textbook editor, and then as an editor at Random House. She is currently a member of The Nation magazine's editorial board.