The Unjustifiable Banning Of The Novel 'The Bluest Eye'

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Abigail Kwiat Mr. Young Honors Literature 3 May 2015 The Unjustifiable Banning of National Bestseller “The Bluest Eye” For years, ever since its publication in 1970, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison has been a “target for censors”, currently ranking number two on the banned book list according to the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom (Pitts, 1).Multiple schools, such as Ohio State, describe the book as “pornographic”, “inappropriate” and “divisive” and therefore, find Morrison’s novel The Bluest Eye unfit for the Common Core Standards (Struve, 1). The novel takes place in Lorain, Ohio and focuses on the life of a black, eleven year old girl named Pecola Breedlove. Throughout the book, Morrison portrays Pecola as…show more content…
For instance, Morrison portrays multiple female African American characters as victims who are sexually and socially powerless. As readers begin to learn more about Pauline and Cholly’s relationship, they discover rather disturbing and frightening information. When Pecola recalls the strange noises she hears at night, she questions why her father cries out in pain, while her mother is completely silent. When talking about her mother she says, “It was as though she was not even there. Maybe that was love. Choking sounds and silence” (Morrison, 57). This disturbing observation made by Pecola not only gives readers a glimpse at Cholly and Pauline’s unhealthy relationship, but reveals Pauline’s lack of pleasure in her…show more content…
Morrison helps readers paint the picture of a world where young black girls strive to look exactly like their blue-eyed and blond haired dolls that they have cherished since the age of two. The first implicit message enforced by society is that whiteness is superior to blackness, and therefore blackness is considered ugly. This is first seen early on in the book when Claudia begins to question why everyone loves Shirley Temple, and what makes her so desirable. She describes her feelings as, “a stranger, more frightening thing than hatred for all the Shirley temples of the world” (Morrison, 19). This means that Claudia is beginning to develop feelings aside from hatred, perhaps envy, or jealousy, along with a desire to be considered beautiful like the dolls she

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