2012 Student Research Conference:
25th Annual Student Research Conference

"Worshiping Shirley Temple:" An African American, Feminist Criticism of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye
Susan M. Horak
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

In Toni Morrison's novel The Bluest Eye she reveals how deeply racism infiltrates society's views of beauty and worth through a little girl named Pecola. A black girl considered ugly because of her dark skin and distinctly "black" features, she desires only one thing: blue eyes, the very epitome of Aryan beauty. Through this simple, impossible desire, Morrison reveals the damage that racism and cultural standards of beauty can inflict. This paper will examine how the racist standards of beauty of the 1940s and today can devastate black women and girls by focusing on one specific fictional example. Looking at Pecola's world through her dark eyes and seeing how she is treated because of them shall expose how blue yes become the center of a black girl's world.

Keywords: The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison, African American Criticism, Feminist Criticism

Topic(s):African-American Studies
Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 307-4
Location: VH 1228
Time: 1:45

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