The Bluest Eyes


A Search For A Self

Finding a self-identity is often a sign of maturing and growing up. This becomes the main issue in Toni Morrison?s novel The Bluest Eyes. Pecola Breedlove, Cholly Breedlove, and Pauline Breedlove are such characters that search for their identity through others that has influenced them and by the lifestyles that they have. First, Pecola Breedlove struggles to get accepted into society due to the beauty factor that the norm has. Cholly Breedlove, her father, is a drunk who has problems that he takes out of Pecola sexually and Pauline physically. Pauline is Cholly?s wife that is never there for her daughters.
Pacola is a little black girl has a hard time finding herself. Brought up as a poor unwanted girl, she desires the acceptance and love of society. The world has led her to believe that she is ugly and that the epitome of "beautiful" requires blue eyes. Every night before she goes to sleep, she prays that may she wake up with blue eyes. The image of "Shirley Temple beauty" surrounds her. In her mind, if she were to be beautiful, people would finally love and accept her. This idea of beauty has been imprinted on Pecola her whole entire life. Many people have inscribed this notion into her. Her classmates also have an effect on her. They seem to think that because she is not beautiful; she is not worth anything except as the focal point of their mockery. As if it were not bad enough being ridiculed by children her own age, adults also had to mock her. Mr. Yacowbski as a symbol for the rest of society's norm, treats her as if she were invisible. Geraldine, a colored woman, who refused to tolerate "niggers", happened to walk in while Pecola was in her house. By having an adult point out to her that she really was a "nasty" little girl, it seems all the more true. At home she was put through the same thing, if not worse because her family members were the ones who were supposed to love her. It was obvious to Pecola that her mother preferred the little white girl of the family that she worked for over her. One day as Pecola was visiting her mother at the home where she is working, Pecola accidentally knocked over a blueberry pie. Obviously burned by the hot pastry, her mother completely ignored Pecola's feelings of pain and instead tended to the comforting of her white "daughter". For a little girl, the love of her mother is the most important love she can receive. Without that, how can she think that she is worth anything at all? Finally the rape by her father is the last evidence Pecola needs to believe completely that she is an ugly unlovable girl. While in most cases a father figure is one who little girls look to for guidance and approval, Cholly is the exact opposite. He hurts Pecola in a physical way that in one attempt measures up to the years of hurtful mockery. After this event, Pecola went insane, forever stopping her from finding what she really is.
Cholly Breedlove the father of Pecola is an alcoholic bastard. He was born to an unwed mother that abandoned him three days after his birth; and his father ran away once he was born. This eventually is the main cause why he had acted like he acted towards his family and especially towards Pecola. After his legal guardian, his aunt, dies, Cholly decided that as an inner mission he needs to find his father to find himself. This long search ends in an extremely disappointing - crushing- experience. As Cholly tries to explain his identity to his father, his (father's) face changes as he begins to understand, avoiding the fact that he is Cholly?s biological father. This extremely embarrassing encounter with his father scars him for life. His only image of a father figure is one who brings pain. Another cause of his eventual downfall was the way the community perceived him. They treated him disrespectfully, talked about him behind his back, and made a mockery of his name. After Cholly attempts to burn his own house down, he earns a reputation as being a scoundrel. With that in mind he could go nowhere but