The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
This is the first novel that Toni Morrison ever blessed us with written in 1970. It plays in 1941 in Lorain, Ohio and follows the story of a young dark skin African–American girl, Pecola. The narration of Pecola’s life is done, for the most part, by another young dark skin African- American girl called Claudia.
Pecola prays and hopes for blue eyes because she believes that they will make her pretty and by extension will give her a better life. This simple reasoning done by Pecola shows so clearly a racialized self-hate that is associated with all the traumatic experiences she faces in her life. Although this reasoning holds the naivete of a child, Pecola has understood that the world values lighter and brighter skin and features that are often carried by white people such as blue eyes.
The Bluest Eye speaks on anti-blackness in an unfiltered and elegant manner that addresses how racism and colourism are so damaging to society. With the character of Pecola she creates the perfect ‘pathetic’ character – a young, dark skin, poor girl who is abused by family and friends and has nowhere else to turn but into the fantasy created by her mind – into madness.