Enigma of Beauty (Bluest Eye)

In: Novels

Submitted By PROSS
Words 781
Pages 4
Pat *****
English 7

The Enigma of Beauty Society’s eyes have been trained over the years to conspicuously spot flaws in what’s been perceived as its standards of beauty. Indifference within its own definition of genuine beauty-stands out like an eye sore amongst the conformity of what or rather whom we are. In Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye, characters call into question what is beauty itself and how can they achieve that “look” everyone yearns to have. Is it they who radiate unattractiveness or is it society’s harshness who push them to hide within the depths of their own ugliness? It is within the young character Pecola Breedlove do we indeed call to question the harshness of human self-worth. She often debates her own beauty but still embraces her ugliness-wearing it shamefully. “Thrown, in the way, into the binding conviction that only a miracle could relieve her, she would never know her beauty. She would only see what there was to see: the eyes of other people.” (Morrison, 1970) But what of, the binding conviction? The constant reminder of her offensive ugliness left nowhere to receive sympathy from, as her family welcomed their ugliness just as bluntly. “We soothe ourselves with clichés. Its only skin deep, we cluck it’s only in the eye of the beholder. Pretty is, as pretty does.” (Newman, 2013) There’s an impenetrable wall of perfection surrounding the world she grows in. Flaws categorized in shape, size, color, etc. mold into what’s acceptable as decent , being that Pecola’s monstrous appearance still provides that she still falls below the rule of thumb for beauty. “The distaste must be for her, her blackness. All things in her are flux and anticipation. But her blackness is static and dread. And it is the blackness that accounts for, that creates, the vacuum edged with distaste in…...

Similar Documents


...History of makeup Have you ever wondered beauty can be a pain? We often say beauty is pain, but people in ancient times actually believed it. The first use of makeup was found in ancient Egypt around 400 BC. Later, the ancient Greeks and Romans started using makeup but were unaware use of life threatening chemical properties such as uses of mercury and white lead. The ancient Egyptians had a wide amount of makeup utensils. They mainly used kohl to outline the eyes. Kohl was made up of lead, copper, burned almonds, soot and other ingredients. The ancient Egyptians believed that eye makeup could ward off evil spirits and improve better eye sight. Over the centuries, women used burnt matches to darken their eyes, berries to stain lips. They used a young boy’s urine to remove freckles and they also swallowed ox blood to improve their complexions. Women used homemade cosmetics usually to improve their beauty. They put their beauty and health at risk by using and experimenting with the dangerous chemicals such as arsenic, lead, mercury and even leeches to give themselves a pale appearance deemed beautiful in the old day. The uses of makeup were different all around the world. They used make up and other beauty products for different purposes. Middle East (Persia): Persian women used henna to stain their hair and faces with the belief that these dyes enabled them to summon the majesty of the earth. Europe: According to Church leaders beliefs during middle ages the......

Words: 1578 - Pages: 7

Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder

...S******* Engl 1201 – 17 Chapter Four Paper October 11, 2013           Beauty Lies Within The Eyes Of The Beholder The year is now 2010 and as we enter this new decade, we encounter so many new trends, fashion and styles. No matter what your budget might be, it seems like everyone has the same goal in mind. They want to be beautiful and look “beautiful.” Grace Suh’s essay, “Eye of the Beholder,” details her struggle as a Korean girl to conform to a Western ideal of beauty. After her makeover, Suh felt negated and also felt like a stranger was staring back at her when she looked at herself in the mirror. Finally, she realizes that she was content with the way she naturally looked, which causes her to leave the makeup behind her on the commuter train. To me, beauty is not only something that pleases the eyes, but also pleases the other senses and the mind. I think true beauty makes you see beyond the lovely sight. It will give you insight or realization of something interesting beyond just the outward appearance. Think about the word beautiful for a moment, when we talk about beauty in people, we often refer to their physical attractiveness. Of course, a beautiful or handsome face is pleasant to look at. But I find that the most memorable "beautiful people" are the ones who have captivating personalities behind the beautiful faces. In my high school graduating class, there were two girls whose beauty just stood out among the rest, Chelsea and Tressa. Both......

Words: 757 - Pages: 4

The Bluest Eye

...an example “Characters who are members of the black community are forced to accept their status as the others or outsiders. This has been imposed on them by the white community.” I just wish the world could wake up! Xu Shasha is a foregin author. Shasha just comes out and says the book is about racism in their times. “Toni Morrison’s first novel “the bluest eye” is a novel about racism, yet there are relatively few instances of the direct oppression. Another author is Jaclynja Yo my eighth author. Yo says the book is the theme of America today is the book. “Toni Morrison’s novel the bluest eye deals with the jaded theme of racism today in America. Sad to say it’s not as bad but it’s still going on today, racism. Chole Wofford is my second to last author. Wofford talks about the struggle of black girls getting imposed by middle class white girls. “ Morrison’s first novel , “the bluest eye”, examines the tragic effects of imposing white , middle class American ideas of beauty on the developing female identity of a young African American girls during the early 1940s. My last author is Nick Davies. “In the bluest eye, the opening excerpt from the Dick and Jane primer juxtaposed with the experiences of African American characters immediately sets the tone for Morrison’s examination of a young black girls growing self-hatred.” We are all human made with the same part so why segregate....

Words: 507 - Pages: 3


...Bijal Lad Beauty 9/28/12 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Beauty is a quality present in a person or object that gives pleasure or great satisfaction to the mind. Many people have a different definition of beauty whether it is appearance, their personality or the work they have done. Looking into celebrity culture, people follow it to help them feel beautiful or use celebrities as motivation. Celebrities are our role models and we try to follow them in the latest fashion like clothing, hair, make-up and acting. Teens especially want an iconic person to look up to and follow them for their selflessness deeds and actions. Celebrities like Tyra Banks, Oprah Winfrey, and Queen Latifah are example of iconic celebrities that many people look up to and try to mimic in order to feel self-fulfilled. Celebrity culture does help define our view of beauty for men and women worldwide. The celebrity culture is in our lives every day, people try to copy them in any way possible because they are they’re our role models. Tyra Banks is an exceptional model that has been through many difficulties as an African American model. She faced racism as a child when she first began her modeling career. As she was getting older she began to put aside all the harsh comments and continued her passion for modeling. Tyra Banks was the first black young woman in the modeling business. As she was growing up, she became very famous because of her age, origin, and difficulties she faced as a young...

Words: 943 - Pages: 4

Analysis of the Bluest Eye Prologue

...Each section of this prologue gives, in a different way, an overview of the novel as a whole. At a glance, the Dick-and-Jane motif alerts us to the fact that for the most part the story will be told from a child’s perspective. Just as the Dick-and-Jane primer teaches children how to read, this novel will be about the larger story of how children learn to interpret their world. But there is something wrong with the Dick-and-Jane narrative as it is presented here. Because the sentences are not spread out with pictures, as they would be in an actual reader, we become uncomfortably aware of their shortness and abruptness. The paragraph that these sentences comprise lacks cohesion; it is unclear how each individual observation builds on the last. In the same way, the children in this novel lack ways to connect the disjointed, often frightening experiences that make up their lives. The substance of the narrative, though written in resolutely cheerful language, is also disturbing. Though we are told that the family that lives in the pretty house is happy, Jane is isolated. Not only do her parents and pets refuse to play with her, but they seem to refuse any direct communication with her. When Jane approaches her mother to play, the mother simply laughs, which makes us wonder if the mother actually is, as we have been told, “very nice.” When she asks her father to play, her father only smiles. The lack of connection between sentences mirrors the lack of connection between the......

Words: 727 - Pages: 3

Racism in the Bluest Eyes

...stereotypically Aryan features: blonde hair and blue eyes are held in the highest esteem by society in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. Set in the town of Lorain, Ohio during the 1960s, the various characters presented strive to live up to society’s perspective of beauty. It is this struggle to find beauty in the White-dominated world that drives many characters. To many, to be beautiful is to simply not be Black. Universally deemed ugly by almost everyone she encounters, central protagonist Pecola Breedlove yearns to live up to the standard of beauty, to be White, by attain blue eyes. Through the use of racism, the standard of innate Beauty of the White and innate Ugly of the Black is reinforced, questioned, affirmed and dispelled. Although no Whites appear in the book, each character presented heavily feels within their presence. While impossible to change the color of their skin, many characters seek to emulate the White way. The blue-eyed Shirley Temple is idolized and revered as beautiful by many characters, especially Frieda MacTeer and Pecola. White baby dolls are precious treasures, given to little Black girls, with their mothers passing on the idea that these Blonde-blued dolls are the closest to beauty their daughters can get. Property, while rare for the Blacks to own, was the adults mean of attaining society’s standards, with the Black women keeping their owns as tidy and neat and white as possible. In their pursuit of beauty, racism ran as heavy......

Words: 1789 - Pages: 8

The Bluest Eye Literary Analysis

...Josh Kloosterman 8:30am The Bluest Eye literary analysis Beauty is a perceptual scope that the reader looks through while reading the bluest eye in its entirety. It is the focus of ideals and issues within the book the Bluest eye. Beauty or lack of is the major motivator for decisions and/or consequences throughout the story. It can define who you are in terms of society and where you fit in, but does it have to? Supposedly, in this country we call home, if you work hard enough you can have whatever your heart desires. In the Bluest eye All Pecola Breedlove wanted was to have blue eyes or in her mind, be beautiful. She believed because of what society had taught her that those whom are beautiful have blue eyes and blonde hair. This is a social institution which has been part of America’s culture since the beginning of the U.S. We must look a certain way, have a specific occupation, or live in a particular neighborhood if we are to fit into society. In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison has captured these and other stigma's we place on ourselves and raise the question of, is these things the only way to be accepted and have some level of beauty in societies eyes? We are raised in a society that tells us we are all equal, however that ideal is rarely practiced throughout our history. We only have to turn on the television or open a magazine to see who the adored people in our country are. Pecola believes that if she could have blue eyes then she would be accepted. "If she......

Words: 671 - Pages: 3

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

...The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Beauty is said to be in the eyes of the beholder, but what if the image of beauty is forced into the minds of many? The beauty of a person could be expressed in many different ways, as far as looks and personality goes, but the novel The Bluest Eye begs to differ. It contradicts the principle, because beauty is no longer just a person’s opinion but beauty has been made into an unwritten rule, a standard made by society for society. The most important rule is that in order to be beautiful, girls have to look just like a white doll, with blue eyes, light pink skin, and have blond hair. And if they’re not, they are not beautiful. Pecola, one of community’s ugly children, lives life each day wanting to be accepted. “The wider community also fails Pecola. Having absorbed the idea that she is ugly and knowing that she is unloved, Pecola desperately wants the blue eyes that she understands will make a child lovable in American society”(Kubitschek 35). In The Bluest Eye, Morrison argues that the black females in society have been forced to accept the blond hair blue eyed image as the only beauty that exists. Little girls in Lorain had it set in their heads that they should all grow up owning a blond haired and blue-eyed doll, also known as Shirley Temple. These images were placed in their minds, making them feel as if they had to live up to the expectations by going with the crowd, and letting their surroundings influence them. “Adults, older girls...

Words: 1894 - Pages: 8


...Brooke Baker  Soc 202  Beauty Essay  Is Beauty Really in the Eye of the Beholder  No matter what I do not think beauty is ever going to be a fair topic to discuss. I have  always heard beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what is beauty. I looked on google.com  and found the definition of beauty to be ​ a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form,  that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. In the reading given to us from Psychology  Today, we are told beauty is unobtainable. The author talks about the aspect of beauty being  about the body shape, hair color, and if someone is aesthetically pleasing to look at. Are these  things something of truth or is it all a fake world we live in? I feel as though every person feels a  little bit different about beauty and what it is and how to maintain it, but since we have a set  standard for unattainable beauty no person will ever compare.   Beauty is said in the article to be unobtainable. Unobtainable beauty is a set shape our  body has to be. Everyone can relate to the struggle of wanting our bodies to be to the  unobtainable standard of beauty. Along with the shape comes color. I am sure any one can agree  that it is a well known thought and belief that if you are tan or have a darker skin complexion  you are more attractive in turn making you more beautiful. A tall dark skinny male or female is  much more aesthetically pleasing to the eye than a chubby pale red haired person. W......

Words: 497 - Pages: 2

Bluest Eye: Worth Callenging?

...The Bluest Eye: Worth Challenging? Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye is one of the books most often challenged in the United States. This is a reaction that, on its face, seems easy to understand. The book contains violence, sexual content (both violent and not), and racial themes. The novel takes place in Lorain, Ohio during the Great Depression and primarily follows the story of three African-American girls, two sisters and their friend, Pecola. The events that transpire in their lives during the course of the book would disturb even those accustomed to reading literature not aimed at the young adult market. The question of what age to allow students to read The Bluest Eye, and more specifically have it taught to them, is a difficult one to answer. On the one hand, the book could be disturbing to young students and their parents would probably feel uncomfortable having their child exposed to its content, but on the other hand the literary merit of the novel cannot be doubted and its realism provokes readers into thinking more deeply about child abuse and race. Violence is found scattered throughout the book. One of the central characters, if not the central character, is Pecola, a young girl living in an abusive home. Her parents often fight, seemingly to pass the time. Pecola is emotionally scarred by this, and wishes she could just run away like her older brother. Most notably, she is raped at the hands of her father, Cholly. This is almost certainly the most......

Words: 807 - Pages: 4

African American Women & Beauty

...African American Women & America’s Standards of Beauty: What Legacy Will You Pass On? For most young girls, the mother or “mother figure” is a model. Without truly knowing for herself what it is to be a woman, a girl finds, both consciously and unconsciously, some direction from her mother. Imitating her mannerisms, her characteristics, her every make and move, young girls start to identify with their mothers and subscribe to many of their beliefs. Commonly, little girls are fond of all the “rituals” that women in our society, their mothers, practice in order to be “beautiful,” and one will see everything from “mother and daughter” apparel in catalogs to the fun and simpler “dress-up” days at home, where small girls wear mommy’s make-up, clothes, and high-heel shoes. While this “mother-daughter” scenario exists in our society as a whole, the mothers in some ethnic groups sometimes have different takes on what it is to be “beautiful” and, naturally, pass these confusing and sometimes self-deprecating values and beliefs to their daughters. For many young African American girls, particularly, sometimes the imitation of their mother and all that is sacred to her results in low self-esteem. When daughters are exposed to “race-conscious mothers,” who “admonish [them] to make it a habit to pull their noses to make them thinner” or to do other things to alter their physical appearance, it is difficult for them to feel good about themselves (Seyersted 51). Julia A. Boyd,......

Words: 478 - Pages: 2

The Bluest Eye Essay

...The Bluest Eye Essay (2nd Draft) Ms. Morrison divides her novel “The Bluest Eye“ into four seasons by making use of motives of her own life. The desire for communicating and sharing aspects with the reader develops a real and identifiable story. But, the reader will only receive knowledge about character perspectives and time frames piece by piece. In order to develop Pecolas fortune to a dramatic climax, she let’s the nature act against her, too. Furthermore, various techniques are used that make the text narratively rich, which leads to a style that contributes towards the dramatic plot action. A lot of what makes The Bluest Eye such capable is the use of special techniques that safe the readers attention at all times. Though Morrison structered her novel with an exposition, climax and conclusion, the plot is still very complicated and never a simple one. You can compare the way Morrison changes charecter perspectives and time frames to building a tower, giving the audience only pieces of knowledge little by little. Furthermore, it sometimes even feels like the novel started at the climax and goes intentionally back to the exposition, because you get to know the tragedy in the beginning but you have to experience the end first by reading the book. The change between the characters narrative enhances the way Morrison structered her story. Another very important stylistic aspect is the change in the character narratives which changes from 3rd person omniscent to a lot......

Words: 970 - Pages: 4

Bluest Eye Parenting Perspective

...Parents are the caregivers, watchers, protectors, lovers, and teachers of their children and are fully responsible for their kids. They help their offspring grow through life learning new concepts and ways of life and helping them prosper into mature people. But how may a child be taught about life, having a family, and any other questions that may have if the parent has no clue either? In the novel The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, a young eleven year old girl named Pecola goes through the mysteries of life and ponders the thought of what is truly beautiful. At the time of the story, blonde and blue-eyed was considered or perceived as the true image of beauty because white girls were attractive, popular, and the center of attention so the closest to white you are, the better. Everyone wanted to be looked upon as a great looking person, such as the “perfect” icon at the time Shirley Temple. Pecola becomes roped into this absurd idea of true beauty and would do anything at all costs to have the bluest eyes. People begin to torment Pecola for being ugly and give her no mercy, even her own family! Her confidence in herself goes downhill at an astonishing rate to the point where in the end, insanity encompasses her and takes her in for good. Pecola’s father, Cholly, is a drunk who rapes her twice and her mother, Pauline, abuses and beats her for any reason she needs to. This sad turn of events for Pecola could be pinned onto the parents because they weren't involved with Pecola......

Words: 1372 - Pages: 6

Beauty Lies in the Eye of the Beholder

...There is a saying "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder". What one individual considers beautiful may not be beautiful to another. To me, beauty is not only something that pleases the eyes, but also pleases the other senses and the mind. I think true beauty makes you see beyond the lovely sight. It will give you insight or realization of something interesting beyond just the outward appearance. When we talk about beauty in people, we often refer to their physical attractiveness. Of course, a beautiful or handsome face is pleasant to look at. But I find that the most memorable "beautiful people" are those who have captivating personalities behind the pretty faces. In one of my previous classes, there were two beautiful girls, Sue and Lin. Both had almost flawless faces and trim figures. But Lin was used to getting her way. She felt that her looks could help her get anything she wanted, especially among the boys. Sue, on the other hand, treated her beauty in a matter-of-fact way and she was nice to everyone. She was also a member of the debating team, her personality made her a more outstanding beauty than Lin. There is another kind of beauty in people that attracts me greatly. This is what is known as inner beauty. People who have this kind of beauty have attained inner peace. They care about their fellow-man, and try to right the injustices in this world. Two well-known personalities who exemplify this are Nelson Mandela and Mother Theresa. Mandela was willing to......

Words: 396 - Pages: 2

Beauty Lies in the Eyes of Beholder

...Beauty lies in the Eyes of Beholder: How true is this Statement? There is a famous saying that beauty lies in the eyes of beholder. In many instances this statement proves to be true as various people have different tastes. In some instances where we see huge billboards, magazine covers and television advertisements covered with faces of beautiful models we do not agree with the statement ‘Beauty lies in the Eyes of Beholder’ as such instances there are so many people involved having similar tastes. Some men prefer dating chubby women with fair complexion while others prefer skinny women with attractive vital stats. Similarly, some women prefer hairy men and find them strong and attractive while some think of such men as virile and repulsive. The concept of beauty has evolved from era to era. In the modern world men and women have different tastes for beauty while people living in early 60’s and 70’s had different tastes for beauty. In the earlier eras women had to be fat to be considered as beautiful as seen in many of the paintings of the Titian. The concept of beauty is again changing gradually with popular actors like Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek and Jennifer Lopez revealing that a beautiful woman is indeed with curves. As a matter of fact, when we are younger and growing up we admire things that appear beautiful from the outside. We are tempted towards beautiful men and women without considering much about their real inner self. But as we grow and......

Words: 359 - Pages: 2