, Research Paper
Subject: Discourse the issues of self-hatred and the aesthetics of beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. What function do they play in the novel and how do they associate to its subject?
Self-hatred leads to suicide?
Self-hatred is something that can thoroughly destruct an person. As it was fictitiously evidenced in Toni Morrison? s The Bluest Eye, it can take an single to insanity. Toni Morrison raises the thought that racism and category can harmfully act upon people? s mentality on themselves.
It is unfortunate that we live in a society that places such a great accent and consideration towards the aesthetics of beauty. What is more unfortunate is that beauty itself is non defined by any realistic qualities or pragmatics. Rather it is defined by society and what the peculiar or dominant category in society feels beauty is. In today? s society in order for a adult female to be looked at every bit beautiful she must posses a combination of qualities, such as, a slender organic structure, consecutive hair, carnival skinned, full lips, straight kind of raised olfactory organ and so on. In the society that the Breedloves lived in, beauty had a batch to make with racism and the dominant category that influenced it. To be a adult female of beauty in that society you had to be light-haired hair, bluish eyed and just skinned. If you couldn? Ts precisely look like that the closer you came to it the better you were viewed. You besides had to act in a certain mode i.e. good groomed, soft spoken, and have high ethical motives. In other words you had to look like a stereo typical European and for coloured adult females free all the fetid things that made them who they were: ? The careful development of thrift, forbearance, high ethical motives, and good manners. In short, how to acquire rid of the funkiness. The awful funkiness of passion, the funkiness of nature, the funkiness of the broad scope of human emotions. ? ( P. 83 )
For the Breedloves what society defined as beauty was non something they felt
they could of all time be. They were condemn by society for being ugly and they themselves succumb to that labeling. They ne’er tried to lift above it and therefore raised their kids in the same mode. This created a feeling of self-hatred and ineptitude in their kids particularly their immature girl Pecola. From birth Pecola was said to be ugly by her female parent and the hapless kid was ne’er given a opportunity to of all time set up herself: ? But I knowed she was ugly. Head full of pretty hair, but Lord she was ugly. ? ( p.128 ) She was ne’er loved but instead she was neglected and made to hold self-contempt because she didn? t expression like person that her parents and society would love. She disliked herself so much that she started fantasying, woolgathering and praying that she was a pretty bluish eyed miss whom her parents would love: ? It had occurred to Pecola some clip ago that if her eyes, those eyes that held the images, and knew the sights? if those eyes of hers were different, that is to state, beautiful, she herself would be different? .If she looked different, beautiful, possibly Cholly would be different, and Mrs. Breedlove excessively. Possibly they? vitamin Ds say, ? Why, expression at pretty-eyed Pecola. We mustn? T do bad things in forepart of those pretty eyes. ? ( p. 47 )
Abhoring oneself can do many jobs. Pauline Breedlove ( Pecola? s female parent ) didn? T like herself, in bend she projected that onto her childs and they will endure a life-time of rejection for it. Because she didn? Ts like herself, she besides found mistake with everything that reminded her of her ugliness which merely escalated every job she had: ? There I was, five months pregnant, seeking to look like Jean Harlow, and a front tooth gone. Everything went so. Look like I merely didn? t attention no more after that. I let my hair travel back, plaited it up, and settled down to merely being ugly. ? ( p. 123 ) She neglected her place, her kids and her hubby and merely cared for things that she thought were beautiful: ? Soon she stopped seeking to maintain her ain house. The things she could afford to purchase did non last, had no beauty or manner, and were absorbed by the dingy shopfront. More and more she neglected her house, her kids, her adult male? they were like the reconsiderations one has merely earlier sleep, they early-morning and late-evening borders of her twenty-four hours, the dark edges that made the day-to-day life with the Fishers lighter, more delicate, more lovely. ? ( P. 127 ) Self-hatred was so destructive that it ruined the Breedloves household.
Other than the Breedloves being labeled as ugly by people in their society, they were besides the poorest, therefore poorness enhanced the jobs. Morrison besides brought into drama the issue of racism, which was due to the dominant category being European who were purportedly superior to all other category at the clip ( may still be thought today ) . Racism and category differences lengthened the bing job if non doing it wholly.
Morrison, nevertheless, does non look to convey out the point of category every bit much as she shows racism. As one literary critic describes Morrison turn toing the subject of racism and category: ? Although her category analy
sis is immature at this point, Morrison is at least witting of a limited function that economic sciences dramas in the development of African people. ? ? Still, Morrison is more interested in developing the skin-color struggle ( race ) than the category struggle ( capitalist economy ) . ?
Although Morrison is criticized for an immature category analysis in The Bluest Eye I am traveling to theorize here to state it may hold been on intent that she looked at race more so than category doing the jobs of the Breedloves? . In this narrative there was a batch of intraracial biass, which should non hold been. So possibly that is why Morrison chose to turn to race more so than category. ( Although, category does come into drama between the different groups within the African American race, which caused one group to believe they are better than the other. ) She likely wanted the peculiar race ( African Americans ) to analyze themselves foremost. They should repair the jobs they have internally as a race before they can turn to the 1s that had to make with another race. For illustration, in The Bluest Eye there were three categories of people within the African American society. There were the hapless, ( which had poorer/poor ) the in-between category and the upper category. These three categories within the African society differentiate among each other non merely by who had more wealth, but instead who came closest to looking, sounding and acting like the dominant category, the Europeans: ? White childs ; his female parent did non like him to play with niggas. She had explained to him the difference between colored people and niggas. They were easy identifiable. Colored people were orderly and quiet ; niggas were soiled and loud. He belonged to the former group: he wore white shirts and bluish pants ; his hair was cut every bit near to his scalp as possible to avoid any suggestion of wool, the portion was etched into his hair by the Barber? The line between colored and nigger was non ever clear ; elusive and revealing marks threatened to gnaw it, and the ticker had to be constant. ? How are the Breedloves? , who are in the poorer of the hapless category suppose to of all time get the better of their tests and trials of being born African Americans ( who really look like they are suppose to ) when their ain people condemn them? They would hold to draw a bead on to go more similar people in the center and upper categories before they can of all time acquire over the hurdle to be accepted by any other race. This is why I think Morrison addresses the internal biass that was traveling on more so than the influence that the dominant European categories put on the lower categories. This was best summarized by a literary critic who said, ? Clearly, Morrison? s category consciousness, nevertheless weak, is reflected in her disapprobation of these households who portion the category aspirations of their oppressors. All suffer from what Kwame Nkrumah called the crisis of the African personality? Africans so bereft of their ain national individuality that they exhibit distorted, even psychopathologic, behavioural forms. Morrison is surely cognizant of these crises, for in this work every bit in ulterior 1s, she harshly criticizes those characters who divorce themselves from the African community. In fact, she considers this junior-grade businessperson sector of the African population the life dead, a buffer group between the opinion and the laden categories who are ever portrayed as abnormal in some sense. ? It is obvious to me, as it may hold been to this critic, ( though she feels that Morrison? s statement is weak ) that Morrison wanted the African people to analyze themselves foremost. She wanted them to get the better of whatever self-accusation or self-hatred they had before they can of all time get the better of being oppressed by the opinion, dominant category.
I have shown how self-hatred can take to self devastation because if an person or a race can non love themselves and accept themselves for what they are they can non get the better of any stereotype or stigmatism that is put on them by any other race or category. Morrison may hold written this novel in hopes that the African Americans would read it and make a self-reflection and realisation. She wanted to them to take a long and difficult expression at what they were and for them to alter and go better persons therefore better their race: ? From the beginning, Morrison is interested in holding the characters achieve a more reliable being than those who submit to conventional criterions, one that emerges from their personal attempts to recognize their duty to go fulfilled persons. ?
She wanted them to see themselves through their ain eyes, non the eyes of another race. If they can merely accept who they were, they would go happier and more comfortable as persons and lead to betterment of the full race. The end is for them realize their ain beauty and self deserving before it leads to devastation.
Mbalia, Doreatha Drummond, Toni Morrison? s Developing Class Consciousness, ( Associated University Presses, Inc. 1991 ) P. 31.
Samuels, Wilfred D. and Hudson-Weems, Clenora, Toni Morrison, ( Twayne Publishers, Boston ) P. 10.