|Bluest Eye Essay
Beauty: discuss Morrison’s treatment of the idea of beauty. From what, where, or whom does this notion come? What effect does it have on the way one perceives the world? On the way others perceive an individual?
How does beauty (the acquisition of it, the lack of it, or the presence of it) determine one’s fate in America? Is beauty a necessarily fixed entity or does it fluctuate at the whim of society? How much or to what extent does one’s perception of beauty contribute to one’s sense of self-worth?
- Claudia: I had only one desire: to dismember it. To see of what it was made, to discover the dearness, to find the beauty, the desirability that had escaped me, but apparently only me.
- Pecola: Thrown, in this way, into the binding conviction that only a miracle could relieve her, she would never know her beauty. She would see only what there was to see: the eyes of other people.
- Maureen: Maureen agreed. “Ooooo yes. My mother told me that a girl named Audrey, she went to the beauty parlor where we lived before, and asked the lady to fix her hair like Hedy Lamarr’s, and the lady said, ‘Yeah, when you grow some hair like Hedy Lamarr’s.’” She laughed long and sweet. (post pecola beat-up)
- Pauline (Polly): Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another—physical beauty. In equating physical beauty with virtue, she stripped her mind, bound it, and collected self-contempt by the heap.
- Pauline (Polly) cont’d: She was never able, after her education in the movies, to look at a face and not assign it some category in the scale of absolute beauty, and the scale was one she absorbed in full from the silver screen.
- Pauline (Polly): More and more she neglected her house, her children, her man—…the dark edges that made the daily life with the Fishers lighter, more delicate, more lovely … Here she found beauty, order, cleanliness, and praise.
- Pauline (Polly): Pauline kept this order, this beauty, for herself, a private world, and never introduced it into her storefront, or to her children.
- Cholly after Aunt Death: The funeral banquet was a peal of joy after the thunderous beauty of the funeral. It was like a street tragedy with spontaneity tucked softly into the corners of a highly formal structure.
- Soaphead Church: He thought it was at once the most fantastic and the most logical petition he had ever received. Here was an ugly little girl asking for beauty. A surge of love and understanding swept through him, but was quickly replaced by anger.
- Claudia (reflecting on Pecola): All of our waste which we dumped on her and which she absorbed. And all of our beauty, which was hers first and which she gave to us.
- a: Her eyes are full of sorrow. She sings to me: “When the deep purple falls over sleepy garden walls, someone thinks of me….”
There’s always the UCLA Writing Lab.