EBOOK [The Bluest Eye]
Just a few 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 found books written by women uninteresting On prodding him for 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 for women writers for 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 flat out declaration made with the confident self righteous air of a reader who knows what ood 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 Bat Ode guy I am mad at No He is only a minuscule part of the universal malady afflicting our collective psyche It is this spirited tolerance for continued ignorance and apathy that infuriates me so This tradition of belittling the female voice which speaks of personal sexualratification love marriage and childbirth of the tyranny of beauty that forces 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 Bitter Choices: Blue-Collar Women in and out of Work 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 fact support for it leaning at them from every billboard every movie everylance 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 yearn for 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 fatal self loathing So what if she has thought up a newer way to deconstruct the violence of a sexual crime by removing the convenient Barrio: Photographs from Chicago's Pilsen and Little Village 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 for 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 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 my favorite authors I discovered her writing with Beloved for 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 fall of 1941 We thought at the time that it was because Pecola was having her father s baby that the marigolds did notrow loc 110 We see this flower analogy towards the end of the novel again Beautiful but hopeless proseOur innocence and 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 metaphor for 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 folds of the Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War garment loc 235I liked the feminist message in this paragraph on howirls are Blank Darkness: Africanist Discourse in French given dolls to instruct them subconsciously in their future roles as caretakers thus why I didn t buy dolls for my daughterI was interested only in humans my own age and size and could notenerate 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 fabricate storied situations around it even sleep with it Picture books were full of little irls sleeping with their dolls Raggedy Ann dolls usually but they were out of the uestion I was physically revolted by and secretly frightened of those round moronic eyes the pancake face and orangeworms hair loc 265The beautiful difference between what people think she wants and what she really wantsHad any adult with the power to fulfill 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 feel 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 could have spoken up I want to sit on the low stool in Big Mama s kitchen with lap full of lilacs and listen to Big Papa play his violin for 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 from pristine sadism to fabricated hatred to fraudulent 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 furtiveness 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 furniture produces a fretful malaise that asserts itself throughout the house and limits the delight of things not related to it loc 495Brutal about how we feel 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 find the source Then you realized that it came from conviction their conviction loc 505 511How our dreams eventually lose out to realityThis family 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 flights of depravity episode along with myriad other humiliations defeats and emasculations could stir him into flights of depravity surprised himself but only himself Somehow he could not astound He could only be astounded So he ave that up too loc 565The eye analogy is naturally one of the most important throughout the entire bookTry as she might she could never et her eyes to disappear So what was the point They were everything Everything was there in them All of those pictures all of those faces loc 599Pecola was for me a truly heartbreaking characterEach night without fail she prayed for blue eyes Fervently for 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 flowerNobody 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 lazed 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 fifteen when I left Jackson and was doing day work in Cincinnati My white lady Black Nationalism: The Search for an Identity 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 fell 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 for 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 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 are from they tilt their heads and say Mobile and you think you ve been kissed They say Aiken and you see a white butterflylance off a fence 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 find 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 in. 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 irlhood hometown of Lorain Ohio it tells the story of black eleven year old Pecola Breedlove Pecola prays for he.
Toni Morrison × 2 CharactersSide of many many womenAnd then she lost her front tooth But there must have been a speck a brown speck easily mistaken for food but which did not leave which sat on the enamel for months and rew until it cut into the surface and then to the brown putty underneath finally eating away to the root but avoiding the nerves so its presence was not noticeable or uncomfortable Then the weakened roots having Boggs: A Comedy of Values grown accustomed to the poison responded one day to severe pressure and the tooth fell 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 the first 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 heot 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 face 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 foaling loc 1607Beautiful description of freedomThey were in fact and at last 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 and fantasy 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 flashlight on his behind to the fists 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 Blood Runs Green: The Murder That Transfixed Gilded Age Chicago give it its final and pervading ache of freedom loc 2076I had to look up Moirai which turns out to mean the Fates Public fact 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 withreat O s of wool the black face holding like nickels two clean black eyes the flared nose kissing thick lips and the living breathing silk of black skin loc 2433A little black Berlioz and the Romantic Century girl yearns for the blue eyes of a little whiteirl and the horror at the heart of her yearning is exceeded only by the evil of fulfillment 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 frailty and yawned in the fantasy of our strength loc 2676The sad fate of PecolaWe substituted Building Ideas: An Architectural Guide to the University of Chicago goodrammar for 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 from 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 Canadian Art, Volume 1 (A-F): Canadian Art: Volume I (A-F) give something of himself to her But his touch was fatal and the something heave her filled 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 free man is never safe There is no Building the Cold War: Hilton International Hotels and Modern Architecture gift for the beloved The lover alone possesses hisift of love The loved one is shorn neutralized frozen in the lare of the lover s inward eye loc 2683This book should probably be considered post modern in the sense that the narration moves from 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 Freuented Bythe movies freuented by and Claudia as well as Pauline and most of all Pecola is as inaccessible as their parents understanding leading them to either steel themselves against feeling like their mothers have or o insanePauline It would be for her the well spring from which she would draw the most destructive emotions deceiving the lover and seeking to imprison the beloved curtailing freedom in every wayAs Wright and Ellison had described as well life in the North was not a safehaven free from racism Cholly was just as invisible in Ohio as he would have been in Mobile The White ticket counter is still forbidden him when he buys his ticket to see his 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 abuse from the victimThe cycle of violence feeds on itself leading to tragic conseuences for 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 for Literature It really 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 folds of the Bulletproof Feathers 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 privateroup here on Goodreads for a few 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 has been very interesting because we all have different perspectives can share them expanding our own understanding of the book it s been a Carson Pirie Scott: Louis Sullivan and the Chicago Department Store great experienceIt s been four years since I first read The Bluest Eye and I was extremely touched and saddened by it the first time around I count it as one of my favourite Morrison books and I mlad to say that after a reread it s still very much so I m trying hard to find the words to describe how I feel about this book and it s still hard because it s a Charting an Empire: Geography at the English Universities 1580-1620 gut wrenching book which I love though love sounds like the wrong word for it how can I love a book that is filled with so much pain sadness andrief This book condenses so much tragedy despair and sadness in a relatively small space What do you focus on It can Chameleon Hours 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 the first name that comes up Pecola the poor unloved child who prayed for blue eyes It was hard not to draw comparisons between her and Celie The Colour Purple another abused blackirl who was called ugly by all those around her And I think of all the little black Chicago Architecture (Architecture Urbanism) girls I ve known who hated being black who hated their hair their noses their eye colour who prayed forood 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 forced to draw conclusions on their own What they aren t told they Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs: A Historical Guide glean from 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 thanood I think this is an important book in revealing the other America My book had an afterword by Morrison which I m so Citrus: A History glad I read I had no idea that this book was inspired by a conversation she d had with an elementary school friend who prayed for 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 from the top of your head to the soles of your feet And twenty years later I was still wondering about how one learns that Who told her Who made her feel that it was better to be a freak than what she was Who had looked at her and found her so wanting so small a weight on the beauty scaleI focused therefore on how something asrotesue as the demonization of an entire race could take root inside the most delicate member of society a child the most vulnerable member a 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 Building the South Side: Urban Space and Civic Culture in Chicago, 1890-1919 goals for 2019et 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 laring omissions on this list was Toni Morrison So with the advice of my 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 Upon finishing this novel I felt like I d been sucker punched The events that took place in this world were devastating Morrisson s novel is as far 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 and focus 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 aMorrison is a poet at heartThe story is told by a character Claudia a young irl and friend 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 follows a different character in her or his life we learn the back stories of Pecola s people through this In the 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 Classic Rough News general but writes about various themes regarding race here the central theme being that Pecola s desire for blue eyes is showing the social context that views blue eyes which in this case is the epitome of whiteness as the stand. 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'arden do not bloom Pecola's life does change in painful devastating wa. ,