From Yearning to Vanishing—An Analysis of the Tragic Pursuit of Self-Identity in Toni Mrison’s The Bluest Eye毕业论文
1.1 Introduction about Toni Morrison and The Bluest Eye———————————1
1.2 Brief introduction about self-identity problem——————————————2
2.1 Pecola’s fervent longing for self-identity————————————————-3
2.1.1 The first shock when seeing the white beauty image———————————4
2.1.2 The attempt of seeking the “aid” from soaphead church—————————–5
2.2 Pecola’s distresses in seeking recognition————————————————5
2.2.1 Distorted maternity: Mrs.Pauline Breedlove’s rejection against Pecola———–6
2.2.2 Immoral paternity: Mr.Cholly’s dehumanized behavior on Pecola—————–8
2.2.3 Psychological oppression: white people’s constant insult at Pecola————–10
2.3 Pecola’s suffering from madness mentally———————————————-11
2.3.1 Pecola’s self-loathing——————————————————————–12
2.3.2 Pecola’s continuous illusion————————————————————12
From Yearning to Vanishing——An Analysis of the Tragic Pursuit of Self-Identity in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye
1.1 Brief introduction about Toni Morrison and The Bluest Eye
Toni Morrison (1931- ), the first African American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature (1993). She is also known as an American novelist, editor, and professor. In 1975, her novel Sula (1973) is nominated for the National Book Award. Her third novel, Song of Solomon (1977), brings her national attention, the first novel by a black writer to be chosen since Richard Wright’s Native Son in 1940. It won the National Book Critics Circle Award. What’s more, there are some other representative works, such as, The Bluest Eye (1970), Tar Baby (1981), Beloved (1987), Jazz (1992), Paradise (1997), Love (2003), A Mercy (2008), Home (2012) and etc. All of those classical works earn her an international fame.
Morrison plays a vital role in bringing black literature into the mainstream. In her novels, Toni Morrison focuses on the experience of black Americans, particularly emphasizing black woman’s experience in an unjust society and her the search for self- identity. She uses fantasy and mythic elements along with realistic depiction of racial, gender and class conflict. Toni Morrison’s writing provide penetrating description of the world of the black people in America. Many of her novels deal with black women defining their roles and striving to survive in a white-dominated society. In the majority of her woks, however, the protagonists always end up with great distress or anguish. But she succeeds in gaining people’s the concentration and respect on the black community, including their unique culture.
Morrison begins writing fiction as part of an informal group of poets and writers at Howard University. One day, “She takes part in a meeting with a short story expressed by a black girl who longed to own blue eyes. Based on this story, Toni Morrison revises the story as her first novel, The Bluest Eye (1970) .”1 And soon Toni Morrison gains the world’s attention for her unique narrative technique. Her works are always based on profound humor. The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first long novel written by Toni Morrison. This book won the Nobel Prize in 1993 after raising countless controversies. It is set in the author’s girlhood hometown of Lorain, Ohio. The book depicts the vivid tragic story of black, eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove which is mainly narrated by a nine years old black girl, Claudia Macteer.
The Bluest Eye is divided into four parts, with the beginning from autumn to summer. The protagonist prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. What a pity! Pecola’s life changes nothing but in painful, devastating ways. She is ignored by her mother, raped by his father, discriminated by other whites, etc. She does not succeed in gaining acceptance in the white-dominated society, even being ignored by her parents. As a consequence, Pecola is utterly insane at the expense of not owning the blue eyes—the white beauty. This story represents the cruel living condition of countless black individuals.
1.2 The black identity problem