April 2024

The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye: Toni Morrison

By Toni Morrison


In the novel The Bluest Eye author Toni Morrison tells the unfortunate story of an eleven-year-old girl called Pecola Breedlove, who grows up in an abusive household. Pecola, who endures plenty of hardships, also desires to be more beautiful, and for her, this entails lighter skin and blue eyes. She envies people and objects around her who possess these characteristics, resulting in Pecola seeing her blackness as a hindrance in her life. She goes to great lengths to see herself as more beautiful, but she is never quite satisfied.


The novel has an interesting way of telling the story. The novel is divided into four sections and features various different narrators.  These narrators are different actors who enter or surround Pecola’s life. This way of narration adds interesting dimensions to the story, of how different people view this young girl’s misfortune. Toni also very cleverly discusses the exclusion of beauty ideals and racial dichotomy in society.


The book has been banned in multiple states across the United States, ever since the 1970s when the book was published. It has been banned even so recently as of 2023, due to the novel including content about sexual abuse of children. However, many have condemned this censoring of classical literature work by a Nobel prize winner in literature and argue that censoring the story does not negate that these horrific, but nonetheless real, experiences do take place in various communities. Others also argue that restricting this source of knowledge enforces ignorance and hinders people from learning about the important impact of representation and how deeply racism affects people on an individual level.


Toni Morrison was the first Black woman to win the Nobel Prize in 1993 for literature. She was also an internationally renowned and rewarded author, with multiple best-selling novels.


See also:

Banned Books 2023 – The Bluest Eye – Marshall Libraries

BANNED: The Bluest Eye | American Experience | Official Site | PBS