The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison the_bluest_eye_cover.jpg

Author Biography

Toni Morrison was born on February 18 in Lorain, Ohio. She was the first black women to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature. She attended Lorrain High School and graduated with honors. She then attended Howard University and majored in English. After graduating, she went to work at Texas Southern University where she taught basic English. She met her husband Harold Morrison at Howard and fell in love with him. They got married in 1958 and had their first child Harold Ford who was born in 1961. Her marriage started to fall apart when she got pregnant with her second child. She divorced her husband and left her job. In the fall of 1964, Tori obtained a new job as an associate editor in New York. Her hope was to be transferred soon to New York City. She then began to start writing and she started writing for the writer's group at her job and she decided to make a novel. In 1967 she was transferred to New York and she became a senior editor at her job. While editing books, she began writing her on novel. The first novel she wrote was The Bluest Eye. She then later on started to write other books suchs as Beloved, Tar Baby,
and soon on.

Summary of Novel

Setting: The Bluest Eye is set in 1940 in Lorain, Ohio. The plot mostly takes place in Toni Morrisons girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio.


  • The protagonist of the novel is an eleven year old African American girl named Pecola Breedlove. She thinks she is ugly and she thinks if she had blue eyes it would make her gorgeous. She is very lonely and suffers from depression. She suffers the abuse from her mother, father, and classmates.
  • Claudia MacTeer narrates parts of the novel. She is nine years old. She is independent and strong minded.
  • Frieda MacTeer is Claudia's ten year old sister. She is more closer to her adolescence then her sister. She is braver than her sister.
  • Cholly Breedlove is Pecola's father. He is violent and dangerous. He mainly takes out his anger on the women in his life.
  • Pauline Breedlove is Pecola's mother. She believes that she is ugly just like her daughter. She has a deformed foot which she thinks that is why her marriage is not going well.

Plot Sum

pecola.jpgThe beginning of the book begins with nine year old Claudia and ten year old Frieda MacTeer living in Lorain, Ohio with their parents. The MacTeer family takes in a troubled young girl named Pecola Breedlove. Pecola's father tries to burn their house down so Pecola was sent by the social workers to stay for a couple of days with the MacTeer family. The Breedloves are poor, unhappy and troubled and Pecola's parents are constantly fighting. They are always telling Pecola how ugly she looks. This is the reason why Pecola desires to be a caucasian girl with blue eyes. She believes that white is beautiful and that she is ugly. Pecola's mother, Pauline, is very distant form the family. She has a deformed foot which made her fell insecure about herself and lonely. She only feels alive when she is working for a rich white family. Cholly, Pecola's father, is a drunk who was abandoned by his father and was leftto be raised by his aunt, who eventually died when he was a young teenager. Pecola's parents lost the love they once had for each other. Cholly returns home one day and he finds Pecola washing the dishes. With mixed motives of both hatred and love, he rapes her. She told her mom about how he raped her but she doesnt believe her story and beats her up. So then, Pecola heads to a fortune teller and asks him for blue eyes. Instead of helping her, he uses her to kill a dog that he dislikes. Later in the novel, Claudia and Frieda find out that Pecola is pregnant with her fathers baby. The entire town of Lorain turns against Pecola except Claudia and Frieda. Both of them want the baby to live. Claudia and Frieda gave the money that they were saving and plant marigold seeds. They believe that if the flowers bloom then Pecola's baby will live. The marigolds refuse to bloom and Pecola's baby dies when it is born prematurely.

Literary Criticism
Doreatha Drummond Mbalia argues that Toni Morrison's book is based on racism. She doesnt like how Morrison wrote the book because she thinks the Morrison is trying to tell everyone that African Americans feel insecure about the way the look. She believes that Toni Morrison is trying to destroyed African Americans self image.

Literary Devices

Symbol: (Bluest Eye)-To Pecola, having blue eyes symbolizes happiness and beauty.
(The Marigolds)-Claudia and Frieda thinks that planting marigolds will provide safety and the well-being of Pecolas baby.

Personal Review
I thought the book was sad. I didn't really like how Pecolas family was treating her. I think it was very rude that her parents called her ugly. I don't think its right for Pecola to suffer that kind of hardship.

Bois, Danuta. "Toni Morrison." Web.

Morrison, Toni. The Bluest Eye. New York: Peguin Group, 1970. Print.

Napieralski, Edmund A. ""Morrison's The Bluest Eye"" Explicator. Web.