a gender studies’ eye for the bluest eye

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A Gender Studies Eye for The Bluest Eye. . Text. Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Penguin Group Publishing, 1994. Her First Novel. (First published in 1970). Thesis. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • A Gender Studies Eye for The Bluest Eye

  • TextMorrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. Penguin Group Publishing, 1994.Her First Novel. (First published in 1970)

  • ThesisTo discuss how African American females perceive themselves in this novel toward the dominance through the viewpoint of gender studies. The compare and contrast between two main characters, Claudia MacTeer and Pecola Breedlove.

  • The dominance of white Western cultureThe ideal family image in the prologue of the novel.The white baby doll Claudia received on Christmas.Mr. Yacobowski (the candy shop keeper)The new classmate Maureen Peal, a light-skinned wealthy girl. GeraldineThe Fishers house (Paulines work place)

  • The PowerAdults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs---all the world had agreed that a blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned doll was what every girl child treasured(20) .I-never-had-a-baby-doll-in-my-whole-life-and used-to-cry-my-eyes-out-for-them.Now-you-got-one-a-beautiful-one-and-you-tear-it-up-whats-the-matter-with-you(21).

  • The Power (Geraldine & Pauline)Irigaray: Feminine mimicry means that [female] is supposed to mimic the role of the feminine in order to shore up a masculine identity that does not recognize female difference.

    Female mimicry in The Bluest Eye has to do with the construction of a gendered and racialized class hierarchy.

  • The PowerJill Matus: This kind of culture of shame" displaces the focus on external causes or forces. As a means of producing self-regulating and conforming subjects, the inculcation of shame secures dominant interests, converting and perverting anger in other eventually to breed false loves and desires (45).

  • Claudia MacTeerIndependence & confidence Undergo the transformation of the conversion from pristine sadism to fabricated hatred, to fraudulent love. Realize the function of ideology that dolls, little white girls, or even' high yellow' girls in [her] community are not the Enemy because they are not the sources of power; they are only vessels into which power flows(43).

  • The BreedlovesThey lived there because they were poor and black, and they stayed there because they believed they were ugly(38). [The ugliness] came from conviction, their conviction(39). They took the ugliness in their hands, threw it as a mantle over them, and went about the world with it(39).

  • Pecola BreedloveOtten: on the verge of self-awareness, Pecola is dangerously nave and fully capable of accepting the idea that a socially defined beauty alone merits love(12). She hides behind her ugliness, concealed, veiled, eclipsed---peeping out from behind the shroud very seldom, and then only to yearn for the return of her mask(39).

  • Pecola BreedloveOtten: Morrison depicts Pecola more as victim than as genuinely tragic figure. Unable to commit a saving sin or protect herself against the prolonged self-hate of Cholly or Pauline or Geraldine, she falls prey to an evil beyond herself(23). Her violent passage from innocence to experience ironically results in the perpetual innocence of insanity that alone can grant her the blue eyes which assure her acceptance(9).

  • ConclusionMorrison, in her afterward of the novel, speaks of how she chooses a unique situation like Pecola to dramatize the devastation that even casual racial contempt can cause(211). Through the contrast between Claudia and Pecola, the significance to perceive the beautifulness of oneself by self-judgment is acutely brought out.

  • Thank you for your listening!

  • References1. Otten, Terry. The Crime of Innocence in the Fiction of Toni Morrison. University of Missouri Press, 1989.2. Matus, Jill. Toni Morrison. Manchester University Press, 1998.3. Furman, Jan. Toni Morrisons Fiction. University of South Carolina Press, 1996. 4. Grewal, Gurleen. Circles of Sorrow, Lines of Struggle: The Novels of Toni Morrison. Louisiana State University Press, 1998. Netlibrary. Louisiana State University Press. January 7, 2010. < http://www.netlibrary.com.nthulib-oc.nthu.edu.tw/Reader/ >5. Tally, Justine. "Toni Morrisons fiction." The Cambridge Companion to Toni Morrison. Cambridge University Press, 2007. Cambridge Collections Online. Cambridge University Press. 31 December 2009.



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