The “bluest eye” confusion

  Before the 1940s, black women in mainstream American literature appeared in a stereotyped pattern. Most of the most prominent representations of black women in Southern literature appear as nannies, mistresses, or biracial children. Until the 1970s, with the rise of the black civil rights movement and the women’s liberation movement, a large number of talented black female writers emerged in the American literary world, such as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, etc. Begin to break through a single model and become a full image with a colorful and independent personality. The works of these female writers not only reveal the painful living conditions of black people under racial discrimination and oppression, but also touch on a more profound theme, namely, the construction of their own national culture and the pursuit of individuality. So far, African-American women’s literature has made remarkable achievements, and its influence and achievements even surpass that of African-American men’s literature.
  Toni Morrison is the first black female writer in the United States to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Her real name is Cruy Anthony. She was born in a black family in Lorain, Ohio, in 1931. Her father was a blue-collar worker. Her mother worked as a servant in a white family. She was deeply influenced and nurtured by the tradition and culture of the black people since she was a child, and cultivated her strong national feelings. In 1970, her debut novel “The Bluest Eye” came out, which immediately attracted the attention of the American literary world, and then she published many novels: “Sula” (1973), “Song of Solomon” (1977), “Song of Solomon” (1977). The Tar Children (1981), The Favourite (1987) and Paradise Paradise (1998), and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993. Today, she is as famous as Alice Walker as a representative of African American women writers and one of the most important contemporary black novelists.
  Most of Morrison’s work focuses on issues of race and gender in modern America. Her work touches on race and oppression, especially the oppression of women, and in fact, very little of her work features a male protagonist (Song of Solomon is her only work with a male protagonist). Since the beginning of her creation, she has paid attention to the dual oppression of black women caused by cruel racism and sexism, and actively explored how black women can establish their own identity and seek their own way of survival. Morrison believes that if black women want to have self, they must continue to struggle, and to establish a close relationship with their black compatriots, break away from black national culture and tradition, and cut off their ties with black society, they will inevitably fall into deep traps. in pain.
  Morrison condemned those black people who abandoned their own culture and blindly pursued the mainstream white American culture. The construction of black culture is an important theme of Morrison’s works. At that time, under the long-term oppression and discrimination, many black people ignored their national cultural traditions, rejected their black identity, and turned to white culture, blindly catering to white aesthetics and values. Especially black women at the bottom of society, in a society where white racism is prevalent and patriarchal awareness is rampant, they were the most vulnerable group at that time. They were not only confused and helpless, but also could not find their own identity and position, so they could not. Consciously rely on power psychologically and in action.
  Morrison’s earliest work “The Bluest Eye” represents the main idea of ​​her creation, which established her place in the history of American literature, and is also a breakthrough in the subject matter of the works of black women writers. In this book, Morrison vividly depicts a group of black women with different personalities, which is rarely seen in other black works. Through the description of the tragic life experience of the black heroine, Morrison shows the confusion and loss of black self-identity caused by the white culture shock, as well as their anxiety and helplessness about their own weakness, and focuses on the description of race and gender. The living conditions of African-American women under dual pressure.
  In The Bluest Eye, Morrison expresses the loss of self-identity and blind pursuit of mainstream culture caused by black women under the dual oppression of race and gender, and discusses how to reconstruct their identity. Under the long-term pain and repression, many black women first denied their black image, and then denied their emotional connection with the black family and society. Polly, the mother of the heroine Pecora in the book, is a typical example of such characters. On behalf of her, she worked as a maid in a white family, not only did not realize that she was oppressed and enslaved, but she was proud of it. She divided her life into two parts, limiting her “beautiful and orderly life to her personal little world in the white home, and not taking it to the warehouse home, nor to her children.” At home, she did her best and worked hard without complaining. When she returned to her home, she was full of resentment and made her children live in fear and anxiety all day long. Because she disliked Pecora’s black appearance, she only asked Pecora to call herself “Mrs. Breedlove”.
  In the black community where they lived at that time, most black people had accepted the mainstream culture of white people under the long-term oppression and enslavement. They despised their skin color, took the white people’s aesthetics as their goal, and longed to have the same white people. Appearance, completely ignore and disregard their own characteristics and beauty. “Adults, big girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window displays — the whole world agrees that all girls love blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned rag dolls.”
  So Pecora, a black girl, called herself Blaming her black appearance for the misfortunes in her life, she prayed day and night, longing for a pair of blue eyes that symbolized the aesthetics of white society to relieve her pain and gain the attention and love of others. “Pecola realized that if her eyes were…different, that is, if she had beautiful eyes, she would be different….beautiful eyes. Beautiful blue eyes. Beautiful big, blue eyes. “As everyone knows, this only brought disaster and misfortune to her. After being raped and pregnant by her father, the black people in the community, under the influence of various white values, did not tolerate and forgive her, and she eventually went crazy. Through Pecora’s tragic experience, Morrison tried to awaken the majority of black compatriots to reconstruct their own national culture, and at the same time warned them that if they lost their racial culture, they would eventually lose everything.
  Morrison also depicted some strong and self-reliant black women who adhere to their own national culture in “The Bluest Eye”. When people around them blindly and fanatically pursue white aesthetic values, they are self-respecting, self-improving, and stick to black culture. Survive in the struggle, like Pecora’s good friend Claudia, who ruined her Christmas present – a white doll with blue eyes and hated Shirley Temple (the pretty white girl printed on the mug) ), rejecting white aesthetics and values. When Pecora was bullied, she always stood up to help and protect her. When everyone around wanted Pecora’s baby to die, Claudia wanted him to live, “to compete with the popular white dolls like Shirley Temple and Maureen Peele. .” Unlike others, she saw the beauty of the baby. “The baby has fine hair that is curled into an O shape, two silver coin-like eyes flashing on a small black face, a wide nose, thick lips, and black silk-like skin. Not the yellow rayon hair that droops in front of the blue eyes, not the little nose, the small cherry mouth.” Her racial pride, her self-esteem and self-love, her sense of resistance, made her different from those who abandoned their own culture and blindly The ignorant, weak and numb compatriots who blindly cater to white people. In her, we see the hope of black people. Morrison appealed to the majority of black compatriots by shaping this self-improving, self-respecting and rebellious little black girl. Only by respecting and loving the culture of our own nation can we get others. respect, and then usher in the revival of the entire nation. At the same time, Morrison further pointed out how black people should get rid of oppression and discrimination. When resisting the racial oppression of white people, black people should use their own traditional culture as their weapon, resist the discrimination of racial concepts, stick to the traditional culture of black people, and finally Realize your true self.
  By creating several representative images of black women, Morrison revealed the living conditions and psychological activities of contemporary black women, those who lost themselves under the powerful impact of white values, abandoned their own black culture, denied their black identity, and then denied Black women connected to black society, unable to resist the erosion of racist ideas, are doomed to fall prey to the pain of finding themselves. Only black women who are self-respecting, love their family, stick to their own culture, and strengthen their black identity can define their own identity, obtain a complete self, and find their own survival value and living space. So far, Morrison has provided a clear answer to the question of black women’s identity reconstruction.
  While actively discussing the construction of black women’s identities, Morrison also pays attention to the living conditions of black men. In “The Bluest Eye”, Pecora’s father, Jolly, is lazy and does nothing to produce, and often beats his wife. In school, a group of young boys who were also black often bullied Pecora, “they are black themselves…their contempt for their skin color makes the abuse even more vitriolic.” Most of the black men in the book show It is their brutal and violent side that Morrison describes as a dehumanized group whose fundamental purpose is not to condemn their oppression of black women, but to hope that people will pay attention to their misfortune. It is precisely because of the discrimination and persecution of the whole white society that they have become self-loathing and hopeless in life in the long-term pain, and they are unable to change the status quo, so they turn to oppress black women to vent their anguish.
  ”The Bluest Eye” is Morrison’s famous work, and it is also one of her masterpieces. In her book, she created various images of black women with distinctive personalities, showed people the living conditions of black women under the dual oppression of race and gender, and proposed the creative theme of respecting their own culture and constructing their own identity. If black people, especially black women, want to gain freedom and independence, they cannot break away from their own national traditions and culture. They must construct their own national identity on the basis of national culture, so as to obtain their own personal identity.