During her childhood, Toni Morrison had a friend whose desire to have blue eyes was bigger than anything she ever wanted. The reason why she wanted to have blue eyes was because in her mind blue eyes were considered the symbol Of beauty and to her, anybody that had them were beautiful. This was not a good experience for Morrison because it shocked her a bit for the reason that she did not think of her friend as being pretty and was horrified at the thought of imagining what she would look like with blue eyes.
Bringing up the revelation about beauty that beauty itself was not just something to old, but rather something you can do to yourself. Even though she was confused by her friend’s desirer she understood where it could have possibly came from. Her friend was insecure and hated the way she looked, but if she had blue eyes she thought everything would be different and she would be pretty. Another thing that she thought might have influenced this way of thinking was that everything in society was about white people and this made her begin to accept the white beauty standards because of the place they received all over the country.
But the questions that puzzled her the most bout the source of this desire were, who told her? , who told her it was better to be a freak than who she was? , who told her she wasn’t beautiful? In the novel this personal event is seen in a similar way, where the girl has a childhood friend who also wants to have blue eyes. The purpose Morrison had for writing this novel was to peck away at the “outside gazes” that look down on Pectoral. In the novel many people looked down on her because they could not believe how ugly she was and the way she used it.
Claudia was one of the few people who liked Pectoral but also ‘gazed” at her because of the way he looked. “She hid behind hers. Concealed, veiled, eclipsed-peeping out from the shroud… ” Pectoral hid behind her ugliness making herself more vulnerable to the attacks from other people. But later on in the novel Morrison pecks away at this because this was where she wanted to be, she would not try to make things better for herself and there was no way anybody could make her think otherwise.
One of the historical events going on while Morrison was writing the novel was the Black is Beautiful Movement, which was a cultural movement that began in the United States of America in the ass’s by African Americans. The purpose of this movement where they began to take pride in who they were and to dispel the notion in the country about the black people’s natural features such as skin color, facial features and hair that were considered ugly. The African Americans did not understand their own beauty at first due to society’s influence.
They were not treated the same as white people based on their looks. They were all thought to be ugly because of their features and were criticized by everyone, making them feel worthless. Also, the societies just focused on the white people, everything was mainly about them, from TV shows to flyers on the streets. Cultural hegemony was also part of this problem because it is when the ruling class imposes their “norms” on all of status quo without the lower class realizing that its happening, but sort of telling them to stay at a certain place because that’s where they belong.
Which ties perfectly back to the main character because the reason why Pectoral was chosen as the main character rather than anybody else in the novel was for the reason that since she is a little girl, she is considered to be weak and vulnerable. The reason for her weakness and vulnerability was that her family was different to the rest, she did not come from the typical family, but instead she Came from a broken and abusive home and little girls were the victims most of the time. Even though Pectoral was a well liked character there were some problems with choosing her as the main one.
For example, she was too sympathetic because she was just a little girl suffering and the reader was probably not getting the larger message because he was just concentrated with what was going on with the victim. Although she really was the victim in this novel, Morrison did not believe it was right to demonic the characters who mistreated Pectoral throughout the novel and told their stories as well to show that they themselves also had a rough time at some time in their lives just like Pectoral. This historical event is seen in the novel various times.
For example, with Claudia who took pride in who she was and was never ashamed of herself. She did not look up to the white beauty standards that told others that they were ugly people and refused to listen to adults and was considered an independent child. Claudia was a child who was proud of who she was and was not afraid to express what she believed in in front of others. “l destroyed white baby dolls. But dismembering of dolls was not the true horror, it was the transferring of the same impulses to little white girls. Claudia did not like the fact that her mom always gave her white dolls, it bothered her how society put the white people on top of everybody else and decided to destroy the doll instead. Language was a very important part in history, not only did it allow you to communicate with others but it also expressed who you were. Black English Vernacular is a nonstandard form of American English which was characteristically spoken by African Americans all around the United States.
This consisted Of a certain accent and a different type Of pronunciation. Another historical event that appears in the novel was the language that was spoken during that time which was Black English Vernacular. “Leave me ‘lone. ” “Not until you get me some coal. If working like a mule don’t give me the right to be warm… ” The way Pectoral and her family spoke was very important and played a crucial part in the novel because it defined who they were.