The Bluest Eye is Nobel laureate Toni Morrison’s first novel; she wrote this in 1970. In the years following the Great Depression, the book takes place in Lorain, Ohio, the author’s hometown. And it deals with tough topics such as racism, incest and child abuse. You’ll need a cast-iron stomach to read this one.
The Bluest Eye tells the story of Pecola. Or rather, it shows racism in America through Pecola. Pecola, who thinks she’s ugly because she’s black and thinks she deserves what happens to her. She prays to have blue eyes every day; she thinks blue eyes will make her beautiful.
With flashbacks, we witness the experiences of Pecola’s parents. Seeing how terrible people are will tear you apart. You will think a lot about racism, and you’ll think a lot about the world order.
It was hard for me to read the book. Time to time, my hands trembled with anger; I had to take breaks because I was crying. If you want to understand how racism turns the world into hell, you’ve got to read this.
Read the searing first novel from the celebrated author of Beloved, which immerses us in the tragic, torn lives of a poor black family in post-Depression 1940s Ohio.
Unlovely and unloved, Pecola prays each night for blue eyes like those of her privileged white schoolfellows. At once intimate and expansive, unsparing in its truth-telling, The Bluest Eye shows how the past savagely defines the present. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterised her writing.
Chloe Anthony Wofford Morrison, known as Toni Morrison, was an American novelist, essayist, book editor, and college professor. Her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. The critically acclaimed Song of Solomon brought her national attention and won the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: