Toni Morrison, author of The Bluest Eye and Nobel Prize winner, is well-respected for the literature she writes. This type of literature is called Recovery Literature, which is defined as an effort on the part of contemporary writers who, in the wake of cultural fragmentation brought on by integration, seek to recall aspects of the past African American culture when they were contained in small cohesive communities tied closely to the land of the rural south. Recovery Literature such as The Bluest Eye is essential in any learning environment due to the history it represents, but School Boards across the nation are having these books removed from the shelves. There are several cases where concerned parents wish to remove Morrison’s The Bluest Eye due to its graphic language. Parents in these challenges on graphic language wish to censor the incestuous rape scene and the language used when describing sexual actions that occur in the book. In other cases the book is accused of being anti-white on the basis of two situations in the book where whites are mentioned. Censoring Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye due to its incestuous rape scene, anti-white claims and graphic language is wrong because school boards are removing the history of African American culture in the 1940s.
One major reason parents wish to ban Morrison’s The Bluest Eye is for the rape scene. The sad and misunderstood rape of Pecola by her father Cholly is interpreted at face value. For example the Littleton Public School Districts, LPSD, “pulled all copies of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye . . . from the shelves of its high school libraries . . . [when] The board decision to remove the novel . . . was in response to a parent who challenged its explicit description of incestuous rape” (Censorship Roundup). LPSD banned the book due to the description of rape. Such a shallow view and interpretation of this scene has led to the censoring of this book.
The shallow view of the scene being about rape does injustice to what Morrison intends in her writing and should not be banned because of its historical importance of the repercussions of racism in the African American community. Morrison’s description of the rape helps give the reader the mindset Cholly is in while committing such an unthinkable act
The confused mixture of his memories of Pauline and the doing of a wild and forbidden thing excited him, and a bolt of desire ran down his genitals, giving it length . . . He wanted to fuck her-tenderly . . . His soul seemed to slip down to his guts and fly out into her, and the gigantic thrust he made into her then provoked the only sound she made-a hollow suck of air in the back of her throat. . . Removing himself from her was so painful to him he cut it short and snatched his genitals out of the dry harbor of her vagina. (163)
Morrison shocks the reader with such a vivid description of Pecola’s rape. This is an intentional shock that Morrison uses to express that such racism...