Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Bluest Eye

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Blue eyes seem to symbolize the cultural beauty and cachet attributed to whiteness in America. Different characters respond to blue eyes in different ways. Claudia, for example, resents the blue ey...

Setting

The novel begins in Ohio after the Great Depression. Economic security is of particular concern for African Americans, who have far fewer opportunities for mobility than do their white counterparts...

Narrator Point of View

First Person (Central Narrator)Claudia provides the bulk of the narration in the book. This is convenient because she actually witnessed what happened to Pecola as well as the way the town spoke ab...

Genre

The influence of Modernism on Morrison's work cannot be stressed enough. Morrison wrote her Master's thesis on Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner – two of the most important figures of Briti...

Tone

Both Claudia and the third-person narrator are deeply sympathetic. Claudia insists that Cholly loved Pecola even though he raped her, and the third-person narrator provides Cholly's back-story not...

Writing Style

Morrison is famous for her use of fragmented narrative with multiple perspectives. Her use of different narrative styles – alternating between first- and third-person omniscient – gives...

What's Up With the Title?

The title has at least two meanings, referring both to Pecola's desire to change the way she is seen and the way sees.Let's deal with the easy one first. As a black child growing up in1940s America...

What's Up With the Ending?

It's easy to read the final chapter quickly, since it consists mostly of rapid dialogue between Pecola and what appears to be an imaginary friend. But when we slow down and read more closely, we se...

Tough-o-Meter

The hardest part of the novel to understand is probably the Prologue. How does a Dick and Jane reader relate to the events in the novel? Morrison seems to want to juxtapose popular depictions of so...

Plot Analysis

Pecola's home environment is abusive and tumultuous.As the novel begins, we see that Pecola's family life is violent and lacking in structure, love, and support. When Cholly hits Pauline and nearly...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Pecola wants to disappear.Pecola doesn't want to be seen and begins imagining the day when she will disappear entirely from view.Pecola begins praying for blue eyes.Pecola begins to fixate on Shirl...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Pecola's family begins to fall apart. Her father tries to burn down her house and her parents are constantly arguing. This, coupled with the constant bullying and teasing she gets at school, leads...

Trivia

In 2005, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago produced a full-length stage production of the novel, which came to New York in 2006. (source)In 1993 Toni Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Liter...

Steaminess Rating

There's nothing very steamy about this novel. Sex in The Bluest Eye is awkward, humiliating, shameful, violent, and illegal – sometimes all at once. We see girls molested, and Pecola is raped...

Allusions

Hamlet (3.9.10)Ophelia (3.9.10)Othello (3.9.10)Dante (3.9.10)Fyodor Dostoyevsky (3.9.10)Jesus Christ (3.9.10)Mary Magdalene (3.9.10)Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1.1.49)Civilian Conservation Corps (1....
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