Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 1 January 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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The Danger Lurking Within:
The African American Woman in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye

P.V. Annie Gladys
Edwinsingh Jeyachandra

The Goals of This Paper

In this study we examine how the society, the family and one's own psyche are antithetical to the Afro-American woman in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye.

Societal, familial and psychic factors are the triple forces that put the blacks of America in jeopardy.

The article traces out the obstruction constructed against the blacks by the white community. Blacks are dehumanized and minimized from subject-hood to object-hood.

The paper also discovers how an unhealthy family life alienates one from the other resulting in little sense of belonging. Family, which ought to nourish and develop the individual, degrades into a destructive factor.

The study examines the psychological trauma and the danger lurking within the African-American woman. Unable to meet the needs of one's environment the individual is on the quest to quench the expectation of others. In the process the individual becomes a prey to depression and frustration which ultimately leads to self-mutilation.

In order to have a true sense of an illness one must have the experience of the same. So also to know the ins and outs of an African woman in America, the writer has to be an African-American and a woman. Since they are of the same kind they could only understand the untold feelings. The whole black American community is put to limitless suffering where the woman's condition is pathetic.

Tony Morrison, the Author

Toni Morrison is the first African-American writer to win the most covetous Nobel Prize for Literature. She may well be acclaimed as one of the most sophisticated and prolific writers in the annals of African American literature.

The fiction of Morrison demonstrates her rare virtue of presenting truth as raw truth. Morrison made her debut in literature through the fiction The Bluest Eye. The novel is about the yearning of a young black girl for blue eyes which is celebrated as the order of beauty by the whites.

Accepted Standards of Beauty and Consequent Trauma

As the accepted standard of beauty, both by the society and the family, is the pink-skin, the African American woman suffers psychological trauma and remains constantly in a state of jeopardy. Morrison's The Bluest Eye reveals the ill effects of the factors within the individual as a consequence of complete rejection of identity by societal and familial forces.

Danger from Within

Morrison shows us how danger sprouts form within as a result of total negation from without. Pecola Breedlove, the protagonist leads a wretched life. She is ignored by the society, neglected by the family and despised by teachers and classmates.

Pecola sits long hours looking in the mirror, "[...] trying to discover the secret of the ugliness, the ugliness that made her ignored or despised at school, by teachers and classmates alike" (34). Pecola's discovery of ugliness stands in contrast to Claudia's dismemberment of pink-skinned dolls to discover its beauty. Unlike Pecola, Claudia tries "to discover the dearness, to find the beauty, the desirability" (14). It is clear that the quest that stems from both of them is the sure result of the danger lurking within.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Linguistic Purism and Language Planning in a Multilingual Context | The Problems of Teaching/Learning Tenses | Language and Literature: An Exposition - Papers Presented in Karunya University International Seminar | Similes in Meghduta - The Absolute Craftsmanship in Language | Culture of the Tamil Society as Portrayed in Ponniyin Selvan | Deconstructing Human Society: An Appreciation of Amitav Ghosh's Sea Of Poppies | Enabling Students to Interpret Literary Texts Independently by Enhancing their Vocabulary | Coping with the Problems of Mixed Ability Students | Displaced Diasporic Identities - A Case Study of Mordecai Richler's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz | English Language Teaching in Developing Countries Error Analysis and Remedial Teaching Methods - An Overview | Diaspora Literature - A Hybrid or a Hybridized Product? | Anita Desai's Journey To Ithaca - A Manifestation of Vedantic Knowledge | A Study on the Physiological, Psychological and Spiritual Perspectives of Different Selves in a Self with Special Reference to Yann Martel's SELF | Conveniences and Complexities of Computer-Aided Language Learning | The Danger Lurking Within: The African American Woman in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye | Practices and Paradigms of Using Multimedia and Language Laboratory for Teaching Communication Skills to Technical Students | English: A Blessing in Disguise - A Study of Chinua Achebe's Technique of Hybridization | Language Teaching - The Present Day Challenges | Is Literature a Viable Medium for ESL Acquisition? | The Lord of The Rings : Galadriel, The Light Of Middle-Earth | Teaching Reading - A Challenge in Itself | The Silent Way | Translator as Reader: Phenomenology and Text Reception - An Investigation of Indulekha | The Dysfunctional Women in Mary Gordon'sThe Other Side | Utopia and Dystopia, Conflict Between Two Extremes - An Appraisal of Anita Desai's Cry, The Peacock | Reading 'god' Backwards | The Comic Vision in the Stories and Sketches of R.K.Narayan | My Responses to The English Teacher | 'Fall from Grace into Grief': Putting into Perspective the Outrages of Terrorism in Salman Rushdie's Shalimar the Clown | Style and Language in M. G. Vassanji's The Assassin's Song | Affirmation of Life in Lloyd C. Douglas' Magnificent Obsession | Effectiveness of Group Investigation Model and Simulation Model in Teaching English | A Mathematical Treatment of Feministic Literature for the Prediction of Social Trends | Multiple Intelligences and Second Language Learning | Amitav Ghosh's The Circle Of Reason - A Study of Diaspora | The Role of Multimedia in Teaching Writing in English | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JANUARY 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of January 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

P.V. Annie Gladys
Department of English
Nesamony Memorial Christian College
Marthandam 629165
Tamilnadu, India

Edwinsingh Jeyachandra
Department of Post-Graduate Studies and Research Centre in English
Scott Christian College (Autonomous)
Nagercoil 629 003
Tamilnadu, India

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