Personal Response to The Bluest Eye
Do you know what she came for? Blue eyes. New, blue eyes, She said. Like she was buying shoes. "I'd like a pair of new blue eyes." Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye
Pecola thought that if she had blue eyes she would become beautiful and her parents would stop fighting. She was just one of the many who believed that having blue eyes would make her and everything around her beautiful, only to end up with self-hatred and self-mutilation. Today the more sophisticated and affluent among us use plastic surgery to fix thick lips and wide noses. No longer do we have to suffer with Negroid crinkles, contours and curves. But oh, those tell-tale eyes.
It would have been easy for me to share the same sentiments as Pecola. The ideal girl had always been shown in my nursery books as having blond hair and blue eyes. Furthermore, the advertisements shown on television, in magazines and at the movies had all displayed the same ideal beauty as my nursery books did. However, the difference between Pecola and me was we had different mothers.
Most important, children learn behaviors from their parents, and most children identify with the parent of the same sex and internalize his or her behavioral pattern. Pecola's mother, Pauline, was consumed with the unhealthy ideals of the society and so she was unable to be a proper role model to her daughter. Instead, she forced her fears on her daughter. My mother, on the other hand, gave to me a strong foundation on which to build from. She respected and valued herself, and as a result, I was able to develop a strong sense of self. However, like Pauline my mother was also taken in by society's views. Society had stilled her voice and she tried to take away mine. Ironically, it was only after reading a passage from The Bluest Eye that I was able to comprehend the conflicts that my mother had endured.
Everybody in the world was in a position to give them orders. White women said, "Do this." White children said, "Give me that." White men said "Come here." Black men said, "Lay down." The only people they need not take orders from were black children and each other.
&nbnsp; This passage sent me to the core of my childhood and allowed me to view with a better understanding the conflicts that my mother endured, being a woman, mother and a wife. My mother always said that one of her greatest frustrations with me was my mouth. She would tell me to do something and I would ask her: Why? Because of this, I was whipped often. Her exact words while whipping me were, "I can't take it from that witch and her family at work and come home to your mouth as well." Just like Pauline my mother had worked in a home taking care of a white family here in America. I always wondered why she would whip me for asking questions, as she herself was someone who asked questions and spoke her mind quite often to her...