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The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye

by Toni Morrison

Women and Femininity Theme

The Bluest Eye is mostly concerned with the experience of African-American women in the 1940s. It presents a realistic view of the options for these women: they could get married and have children, work for white families, or become prostitutes. The novel also thematizes the culture of women and young girls, emphasizing beauty magazines, playing with dolls, and identifying with celebrities.

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. What is the narrator's attitude toward gender restrictions?
  2. What kinds of things do women talk about in the novel? How does gossip among women function in the novel?
  3. What does female friendship look like in the novel? Who are the friends in the novel?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Miss Marie, Poland, and China are feminist characters.

Women in the novel internalize racism more than the male characters.

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