Pectoral has a very hard life and at the age Of eleven, she gets raped by her father, which results in a pregnancy. Claudia, another black girl in the story, is the only one who wants Piccolo’s baby to live, but tragically it didn’t. When Piccolo’s baby dies, so does some of her. At the end of the novel, Pectoral became crazy and began thinking that she has blue eyes. Pectoral is now constantly terrorized by the thought that someone could have bluer eyes than her, for she wants the bluest eye.
In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison uses symbolism, narrator point of view, and allusions to the 1 ass’s childhood book, Dick and Jane, to show that society perception of white beauty can affect many girls, in the black community, asking them feel envy and hatred, towards those who have white features. The first literary device that Toni Morrison uses in The Bluest Eye is symbolism. In the novel, the image of perfect beauty would be someone with white skin, blonde hair, and most importantly blue eyes. All the world had agreed that a blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned doll was what every girl treasured” (21 Having blue eyes is defined as something to be treasured by Morrison, in her novel. The blue eyes symbolize the beauty and prestige that is associated with being white. Although, two characters, Claudia and Pectoral, acknowledge the blue eyes in different ways. Claudia, for example, feels nothing but bitterness to her blue eyed dolls. “I only had one desire; to dismember it.
To see of what it was made, to discover the dearness, to find the beauty, the desirability that had escaped me, but apparently only me” (20). Claudia views the blue eyes partnership with beauty, with hostility. Pectoral, on the other hand, conforms to the white perceptions of beauty and often tries to “discover the secret of the ugliness, the ugliness that made her ignored or despised at school, by teachers and classmates alike” (45). Pectoral, finally, comes to the conclusion that having blue eyes would make her dutiful. Even if she is black, with brown eyes, she feels blue eyes will solve all of her problems.
She often thinks that “if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different” (46). Not only does Pectoral think blue eyes will give her beauty, but that they are going to change her way of viewing things. She thinks they will somehow give her an unbuttered white life. Once, while her parents, Coolly and Mrs.. Overlooked, were fighting, Pectoral thought “if she looked different, beautiful, maybe Coolly would be different, and Mrs.. Overlooked too” (46). Pectoral honestly believes hat by being beautiful with those blue eyes will make her parents stop.
Near the end of The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison made those blue eyes symbolize something else, something sad. The bluest eye turns into the saddest eye, when Pectoral asks a charlatan for her beloved eyes. Marry eyes… I want them blue'” (174). After this, Pectoral goes insane thinking she actually got her blue eyes, but her self-image is still destroyed. She becomes terrorized by that thought that ‘there is somebody with bluer eyes than mine, then maybe there is somebody with the bluest eyes” (203). The blue eyes symbolize beauty that s associated with being white and Piccolo’s insanity.
The symbol of the blue eyes shows the reader the effect that white beauty can have on one’s life, with Claudia, who is now filled with hatred and hostility, and Pectoral who was once filled with envy, but is now deranged. Next, Toni Morrison uses narrator point of view to argue that white beauty can have an effect on Women in the black community’s. Morrison had three Narrators throughout, The Bluest Eye, there is Claudia, a third person omniscient, and at the very end Pectoral. They all offer different perspectives on what beauty is and how it affects them. Claudia is the first and last point of view Morrison uses in the Bluest Eye.
She is in the first person, and tells the story of what has happened to Pectoral by what she saw. Unlike Pectoral, Claudia does not seem envious of the white perceptions of beauty, she feels hatred and confusion. She doesn’t understand why everyone thinks white is beautiful and often thought, “what made people look at them and say, ‘Awe. N. N. M,’ but not for me? ‘ (22). Once, Claudia expressed her hate for the white actress, Shirley Temple, while all of Claudia black friends were adoring Shirley, and even referrers to her as “old squint-eyed Shirley/’ (19).
Claudia doesn’t agree with societies perceptions on what’s beautiful, while many black women submit to the beauty standards, Claudia fights against them. She hates anyone or anything that is labeled as beautiful by society and felt “hatred for all the Shirley Temples of the world” (19). It is obvious that Claudia hated white beauty, but eventually it becomes violent. She often admits to destroying the white baby dolls that have “glassy blue eyeballs” (21). As Claudia narrative continues, the reader can see her feeling more resentment and hostility towards the white girls. L destroyed white baby dolls… The truly rarefying thing was the transference of the same impulses to little white girls” (24). Claudia point of view helps Toni Morrison show that even the girls that aren’t filled with envy, can still be affected by white beauty, but with hatred and hostility. The second point of view Morrison uses is a third person omniscient, by using this, Morrison can show different perspectives on beauty and effects it has on other characters in the book, like Pauline Overlooked. The narrator once described how Pauline felt when she went to movies, to watch white actors.
Pauline gets lost in those movies and even did her hair like that f a white actress, to make herself feel prettier. “l ‘member one time went to see Clark Gable and Jean Harrow. I fixed my hair up like I’d seen hers on a magazine” (123). Morrison is showing the reader that not only little black girls were influenced by the white perspective of beauty, but an older black woman was as well. By using this third person omniscient point of view, it gives Morrison a way to show another perspective, in ways that couldn’t if Claudia were the only narrator.
Piccolo’s point of view is the last point of view Morrison uses. Morrison uses other points of views first to tell Piccolo’s story, o the readers think they understand her. Claudia also acts as Piccolo’s foil. Morrison strategically placed Claudia narrative before Piccolo’s. Claudia narrative really shows the reader how obsessed Pectoral was, to prepare them for Piccolo’s loss of sanity. You come back then? Of course will. I’m just going away for a little while. You promise? Sure. I’ll be back. Right before your very eyes'” (204). Piccolo’s last bit of sanity leaves her.
She is the one who has been most affected and obsessed with being the white kind of beautiful. The reader really doesn’t know until the very end that pectoral has lost her sanity u to society’s perspectives on beauty. Morrison uses Piccolo’s point of view to really prove what can happen, if white beauty is considered the only beauty. Lastly, Toni Morrison uses allusions to the sass’s childhood book, Dick and Jane, to further show the effects that the white perception of beauty can have on a black women. The famous “Dick and Jane” narratives were always happy and simple.