In Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye two of her main characters, Claudia and Pecola show hatred toward others, and themselves because they are not as beautiful as the supreme females....
Toni Morrison shows the disastrous effects that colorism and racism can have on a whole culture and how African- Americans will tear each other apart in order to fit into the graces of white society.
In Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Morrison shines a critical light on society, illumining the immoral acts that it participates in, through the story of how a little girl is thrown by the wayside since she does not embod...
Morrison's first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. She used as her literary first name "Toni," based on a nickname derived from St. Anthony after she'd joined the Catholic Church. The book follows a young African-American girl, Pecola Breedlove, who believes her incredibly difficult life would be better if only she had blue eyes. The controversial book didn't sell well, with Morrison stating in a 1994 afterword that the reception to the work was parallel to how her main character was treated by the world: "dismissed, trivialized, misread."
Morrison nonetheless continued to explore the African-American experience in its many forms and eras in her work. Her next novel, Sula (1973), explores good and evil through the friendship of two women who grew up together in Ohio. Sula was nominated for the American Book Award.
"I'd like a pair of new blue eyes." Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye Pecola thought that if she had blue eyes she would become beautiful and her parents would stop fighting.
In 2006, Morrison announced she was retiring from her post at Princeton. That year, The New York Times Book Review named Beloved the best novel of the past 25 years. She continued to explore new art forms, writing the libretto for Margaret Garner, an American opera that explores the tragedy of slavery through the true life story of one woman's experiences. The work debuted at the New York City Opera in 2007.
She was just one of the many who believed that having blue eyes would make her and everything around her beautiful, only to end up with self-hatred and self-mutilation....
A reader might easily conclude that the most prominent social issue presented in The Bluest Eye is that of racism, but more important issues lie beneath the surface....
Standard overview of the first seven novels, including a short but clear discussion of the narrative technique and plot of each novel. Invaluable for its comprehensive list of newspaper and magazine reviews of each novel (from The Bluest Eye to Paradise) on pages 189–192.
Mobley McKenzie, Marilyn. “Spaces for Readers: The Novels of Toni Morrison.” In The Cambridge Companion to the African American Novel. Edited by Maryemma Graham, 221–232. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004. DOI:
Overview of the novels from The Bluest Eye to Paradise that emphasizes the texts’ insistence on an active, creative role for the reader in the collaborative construction of meaning.
In this novel the community has accepted blond hair, blue eyes, and light skin, as the only forms of beauty and they pass these beliefs onto their children.
Clearly written overview of novels from The Bluest Eye to A Mercy, and a discussion of the nonfiction that is extensive relative to comparable works. Includes overview of the main contexts with which Morrison’s work engages, and of the critical field.
Relatively brief (136 pages) but engaged survey. Around ten pages of commentary on each of the first nine novels (longer on Beloved); five pages as an epilogue on Home. No discrete section on criticism, but footnotes do cite a range of critics, particularly leading African American scholars such as Wall and Fultz. List of further reading.