The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison – 9/10

The Bluest Eye is a novel written by Toni Morrison, about the beauty and value of others, and how much it can hurt when someone is always put down in those areas. The story starts when a family takes in Pecola, a nine year old girl who has had her home destroyed by her own father. Pecola spends time with the family’s two daughters who are around her age, Claudia and Frieda. Claudia and Frieda soon learn about Pecola. It is revealed that Pecola loves light skin but hates her own dark skin.

Most of the book is about Pecola’s life at her own home. Her father is an alcoholic and her mother argues with him constantly. Along with her troublesome home life, Pecola is treated like she is ugly and worthless almost everywhere she goes. All that Pecola can do is endure these hardships and wish for blue eyes, believing that if she has them, she will be loved for being beautiful. However, her adoration for beauty that is not her own, the abuse that she receives, and lack of love or care, leads to suffering for Pecola, and tragedy that she has to quietly face.

The Bluest Eye is written in an interesting way, with how it is narrated, the writing style, and how the story unfolds. The book is told from Claudia’s point of view, but also from an omniscient narrator. I liked this because readers can experience the book from different perspectives. This ties into the the actual flow of the story. Although Pecola is the main character, there are many other characters that are explored in the book. The author tells the life story of several types of people, and all of them are seamlessly connected to the main story. In addition to this, the writing style is very unique. In similarity to the narration, the writing style often changes. It varies from the personal, informal voice of certain characters to large, lyrical explanations of details and events.

The audience that would enjoy this book is anyone who likes a story with questions about society and the devaluation of people through beauty standards, a historical setting, and personal perspectives. I really liked this book because of how well written it is. For it being a fiction novel, it seems so personal and easy to connect with. For me, the only thing that wasn’t positive was the tying in of other people’s life stories because at first it seemed a bit random and confusing. Eventually it all comes together and adds depth to the overall story. This book is great and actually gives an important lesson. For these reasons, I would recommend it to anyone.

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