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The Bluest Eye (Oprah's Book Club) by Toni…
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The Bluest Eye (Oprah's Book Club) (original 1970; edition 2000)

by Toni Morrison

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8,431136366 (3.88)361
Member:cmtusa
Title:The Bluest Eye (Oprah's Book Club)
Authors:Toni Morrison
Info:Plume (2000), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (1970)

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English (130)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  English (136)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
I read this when I was 12, and was rather disturbed. I still vividly remember most scenes from it.
  csoki637 | Nov 27, 2016 |
A little girl with a doll. Sounds like an idyllic picture doesn't it? But when the little girl is black and the doll is blond-haired and blue-eyed, as on the cover of this book, it just looks wrong. How did blue eyes and blond hair get to be the epitome of loveliness? Would a child who had dark skin, curly dark hair and dark eyes ever think they could be lovely if they only had that as an example? Some, like Pecola, would always long for blue eyes. Even when her father raped her and impregnated her she could believe that everything would be alright with blue eyes. Personally I liked how the sometime narrator of this story treated the blond-haired, blue-eyed dolls given to her. She took them apart to see what was inside. That seems like a much more reasonable approach to a toy that doesn't reflect reality. ( )
  gypsysmom | Nov 2, 2016 |
It's a 4.5/5 for me. A really well written book. It's harsh in some places. Sometimes I find it hard to review books like this. I feel such sadness for Pecola, this young girl who wants blue eyes as she thinks it will make her beautiful. Throughout the book, she is described as ugly. Even her mother thinks she's ugly, and that's just sad. She's just 11 years old. And just when you think things can't get worse it does. I struggled through the last section this book with the thoughts of a character. I just find it hard to read and comprehend.I wonder how the authors write these chapters. I feel robbed of a happy ending also. So its well worth reading. I can see why it won the Nobel prize in literature. ( )
  Nataliec7 | Oct 31, 2016 |
One of my personal favorites. An incredibly well-written and thoughtful portrait of a complex and tragic character. ( )
  sawyerwh | Oct 29, 2016 |
3 stars ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
I have said "poetry." But "The Bluest Eye" is also history, sociology, folklore, nightmare and music. It is one thing to state that we have institutionalized waste, that children suffocate under mountains of merchandised lies. It is another thing to demonstrate that waste, to re-create those children, to live and die by it. Miss Morrison's angry sadness overwhelms.
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Toni Morrisonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Morrison, Tonimain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dee, RubyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorsman-Vos, W.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the two who gave me life
and the one who made me free
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Quiet as it's kept, there were no marigolds in the fall of 1941. We thought, at the time, that it was because Pecola was having her father's baby that the marigolds did not grow. A little examination and much less melancholy would have proved to us that our seeds were not the only ones that did not sprout; nobody's did. Not even the gardens fronting the lake showed marigolds that year. But so deeply concerned were we with the health and safe delivery of Pecola's baby we could think of nothing but our own magic: if we planted the seeds, and said the right words over them, they would blossom, and everything would be alright. It was a long time before my sister and I admitted to ourselves that no green was going to spring from our seeds. Once we knew, our guilt was relieved only by fights and mutual accusations about who was to blame. For years I thought my sister was right: it was my fault. I had planted them too far down in the earth. It never occured to either one of us that the earth itself might have been unyielding. We had dropped our seeds in our own little plot of black dirt just as Pecola's father had dropped his seeds in his own plot of black dirt. Our innocence and faith were no more productive than his lust or despair. What is clear now is that of all of that hope, fear, lust, love, and grief, nothing remains but Pecola and the unyielding earth. Cholly Breedlove is dead; our innocence too. The seeds shriveled and died; her baby too. There is really nothing more to say--except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how.
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Please distinguish between this complete 1970 novel and any abridgement of the original Work. Thank you.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0452282195, Paperback)

Oprah Book Club® Selection, April 2000: Originally published in 1970, The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison's first novel. In an afterword written more than two decades later, the author expressed her dissatisfaction with the book's language and structure: "It required a sophistication unavailable to me." Perhaps we can chalk up this verdict to modesty, or to the Nobel laureate's impossibly high standards of quality control. In any case, her debut is nothing if not sophisticated, in terms of both narrative ingenuity and rhetorical sweep. It also shows the young author drawing a bead on the subjects that would dominate much of her career: racial hatred, historical memory, and the dazzling or degrading power of language itself.

Set in Lorain, Ohio, in 1941, The Bluest Eye is something of an ensemble piece. The point of view is passed like a baton from one character to the next, with Morrison's own voice functioning as a kind of gold standard throughout. The focus, though, is on an 11-year-old black girl named Pecola Breedlove, whose entire family has been given a cosmetic cross to bear:

You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their conviction. It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear, and they had each accepted it without question.... And they took the ugliness in their hands, threw it as a mantle over them, and went about the world with it.
There are far uglier things in the world than, well, ugliness, and poor Pecola is subjected to most of them. She's spat upon, ridiculed, and ultimately raped and impregnated by her own father. No wonder she yearns to be the very opposite of what she is--yearns, in other words, to be a white child, possessed of the blondest hair and the bluest eye.

This vein of self-hatred is exactly what keeps Morrison's novel from devolving into a cut-and-dried scenario of victimization. She may in fact pin too much of the blame on the beauty myth: "Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another--physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion." Yet the destructive power of these ideas is essentially colorblind, which gives The Bluest Eye the sort of universal reach that Morrison's imitators can only dream of. And that, combined with the novel's modulated pathos and musical, fine-grained language, makes for not merely a sophisticated debut but a permanent one. --James Marcus

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:54 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Pecola Breedlove, a young eleven-year-old black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dreams grow more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity.--from publisher's description.… (more)

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