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The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye

by Toni Morrison

Analysis: Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Christopher Booker is a scholar who wrote that every story falls into one of seven basic plot structures: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, the Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth. Shmoop explores which of these structures fits this story like Cinderella’s slipper.

Plot Type : Tragedy

Anticipation Stage

Pecola wants to disappear.

Pecola doesn't want to be seen and begins imagining the day when she will disappear entirely from view.

Dream Stage

Pecola begins praying for blue eyes.

Pecola begins to fixate on Shirley Temple's whiteness and her blue eyes as a way to get rid of her misery at being temporarily homeless. Pecola believes that having blue eyes will make her happy and beautiful, and will make her parents stop fighting.

Frustration Stage

A series of frustrations befalls Pecola – she gets punched in the face by Claudia, Junior attacks her with his cat, and she knocks down the berry cobbler.

It's becoming increasingly difficult for Pecola to imagine having a normal adolescence.

Nightmare Stage

Pecola's father rapes her.

If Pecola's two major wishes were to disappear and to become beautiful so that she could be loved, Cholly's violation of her shatters both these dreams. By raping his own daughter, Cholly completely violates her trust and her ability to possess her own body in any real way.

Destruction

Pecola loses her baby and her mind.

While Pecola isn't literally destroyed, the pain of being raped by her father, losing her baby, and having to leave school is too much for her to bear. Pecola now exists in a complex fantasy world where she has blue eyes and an imaginary friend who tells her how pretty they are. No one in Lorain talks to her or looks her in the eyes anymore; she is completely and utterly ignored by everyone, including Pauline. Ironically, her initial wish to disappear has come true.

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