Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.
Examination Thesis from the year 2009 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Koblenz-Landau (Anglistik), language: English, abstract: Throughout history, the highly contested concepts of race and gender have adversely shaped the lives of millions of people. In the United States it is most notably Native Africans and African Americans who have been victimized on the grounds of their skin color. Women of African descent have suffered a double jeopardy due to the intersection of race and gender. For a great many of African Americans, men and women alike, literature has become an “important vehicle to represent the social context, to expose inequality, racism and social injustice.” In The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison explores the issue of African American female identity. The female Bildungsroman scrutinizes the problem of growing up black and female in a society which equates beauty with blue-eyed whiteness. Consumer goods, the media, adult approval and a dismissive attitude towards her mislead the protagonist Pecola Breedlove to internalize white beauty standards. With the story of Pecola, Morrison points out how the internalization leads to racial self-loathing and eventually to self-destruction. Nonetheless, the negative tone of The Bluest Eye is in part counteracted through Claudia MacTeer, whose narrative is juxtaposed to Pecola’s anti-Bildung and thus turns the novel into a double Bildungsroman with one girl “growing up” and the other one “growing down.” The following thesis will focus on the issues of race and gender in The Bluest Eye. The topic can be considered of particular relevance as it addresses a theme which remained unexamined until the 1970s, a theme which many have not wanted to know about and which others have been in denial about. Morrison, though, faces the truth about the intersection of race and gender by exploring in her novel how racism and sexism function, as well as the devastating consequences that can occur. Her debut further underlines that the search for culprits is complicated since the perpetrators in the crimes against Pecola are often victims themselves. [...]
Author: Lucille P. Fultz
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 2012-11-22
Genre: Literary Criticism
Toni Morrison features a collection of ten new essays by noted Morrison scholars, including recipients of the Toni Morrison Society Book Award. Focusing upon Morrison's most recently published novels (Paradise, Love, A Mercy) the contributors to this volume revisit issues that continue to engage Morrison and are part of the currency of contemporary American literary and cultural history. These selections examine Morrison's ongoing "romance" with African Americans as they continue to battle the demons of race, gender, class, and poverty, to name a few. Together, these essays offer comprehensive and nuanced discussions of Morrison's latest novels and provide new directions for Morrison scholarship in the 21st century. This volume provides students of literature, cultural studies, and history with an overview of Morrison's examination of African American progress and leadership at key moments in American history and culture from the Colonial Period to the present. Through their thematic interconnectedness, the essays reveal Morrison at her most brilliant in her ability to reach into the past to comment on contemporary issues.
This history of one of the most contentious educational issues in America examines bilingual instruction in the United States from the common school era to the recent federal involvement in the 1960s and 1970s. Drawing from school reports, student narratives, legal resources, policy documents, and other primary sources, the work teases out the underlying agendas and patterns in bilingual schooling during much of America s history. The study demonstrates clearly how the broader context - the cultural, intellectual, religious, demographic, economic, and political forces - shaped the contours of dual-language instruction in America between the 1840s and 1960s. Ramsey s work fills a crucial void in the educational literature and addresses not only historians, linguists, and bilingual scholars, but also policymakers and practitioners in the field.
Author: Cammie M. Sublette
Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
Release Date: 2015-12-30
Genre: Social Science
Devouring Cultures brings together contributors from a wide range of disciplines including media studies, rhetoric, gender studies, philosophy, anthropology, literary criticism, film criticism, race theory, history, and linguistics to examine the ways food signifies both culture and identity. These scholars look for answers to intriguing questions: What does our choice of dining house say about our social class? Can restaurants teach us about a culture? How does food operate in Downton Abbey? How does food consumption in zombie apocalypse films and apocalyptic literature relate to contemporary food-chain crises and food nostalgia? What aspects of racial conflict, assimilation, and empowerment may be represented in restaurant culture and food choice? Restaurants, from their historical development to their modern role as surrogate kitchen, are studied as markers of gender, race, and social class, and also as forums for the exhibition of tensions or spaces where culture is learned through the language of food. Food, as it is portrayed in literature, movies, and television, is illuminated as a platform for cultural assimilation, a way for the oppressed to find agency, or even a marker for the end of a civilization. The essays in Devouring Cultures show how our choices about what we eat, where we eat, and with whom we eat are linked to identity and meaning and how the seemingly simple act of consumption has implications that extend far beyond sustenance.
The latest novel from Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison. An angry and self-loathing veteran of the Korean War, Frank Money finds himself back in racist America after enduring trauma on the front lines that left him with more than just physical scars. His home--and himself in it--may no longer be as he remembers it, but Frank is shocked out of his crippling apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and take her back to the small Georgia town they come from, which he's hated all his life. As Frank revisits the memories from childhood and the war that leave him questioning his sense of self, he discovers a profound courage he thought he could never possess again. A deeply moving novel about an apparently defeated man finding his manhood--and his home. This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.
Milkman Dead was born shortly after a neighborhood eccentric hurled himself off a rooftop in a vain attempt at flight. For the rest of his life he, too, will be trying to fly. With this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison transfigures the coming-of-age story as audaciously as Saul Bellow or Gabriel García Márquez. As she follows Milkman from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, Morrison introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized black world.
Author: Carol A. Kolmerten
Publisher: Univ Pr of Mississippi
Release Date: 1997
Genre: Literary Criticism
The fifteen essays in this collection explore the resonant intertextual relationship between the fiction of William Faulkner and that of Toni Morrison. Although the two writers are separated by a generation as well as by differences of race, gender, and regional origin, this close critical examination of the creative dialogue between their oeuvres is both timely and appropriate.Toni Morrison's brilliant and powerful novels of the past two decades have accorded her a position in the front ranks of American writers, and like Faulkner before her, she has been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. She has publicly acknowledged her artistic indebtedness to Faulkner on a number of occasions. But Morrison also resists the Faulknerian heritage in profound ways. This resistance is certainly, in part at least, the natural reluctance of any highly original artist to be regarded as the product of her predecessor's influence. This push-pull of Morrison's acceptance of and resistance to the Faulknerian heritage provides a major source for the critical energy exhibited in this collection.Each contributor, whether addressing broad, general issues in both writers or whether detailing similarities and differences in particular works, finds that the authors illuminate each other. No reader of Faulkner will ever read him in the same way after encountering Morrison.Carol A. Kolmerten is a professor of English at Hood College. Stephen M. Ross is director of the Office of Challenge Grants, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the coauthor of Reading Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury. Judith Bryant Wittenberg is a professor and chair of the English department at Simmons College.
Author: Harold Bloom
Publisher: Chelsea House Pub
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction
The Bluest Eye is one of Toni Morrison's most powerful novels. The Nobel Laureate's debut is the story of Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl who prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. This book presents an impressive collection of updated critical essays and an insightful introduction by editor Harold Bloom that will enrich students' insight into this heartbreaking classic that tackles the crucial themes of race and identity.
Author: Dana Medoro
Publisher: Praeger Pub Text
Release Date: 2002-01-01
Genre: Literary Criticism
Working from the premise that the Puritan construction of America as a return to Eden endures into American literature of the 20th century, Medoro focuses on the rhetoric of cyclical regeneration, blood, and damnation that accompanies this construction. She argues that a semiotics of menstruation infuses this rhetoric and informs the figuration of a feminine America in the nation's literary tradition: America, as a New World Eden, is haunted not only by the Fall, but also by the "Curse of Eve." The book examines how 9 novels by Pynchon, Faulkner, and Morrison link variations on the figure of the menstruating woman to the bloody history of the United States and to a vision of the nation's redemptive promise.
Author: Janet Gonzalez-Mena
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Humanities, Social Sciences & World Languages
Release Date: 2005
Now available with the free workbook Resources for Observation and Reflection, FOUNDATIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION provides an even more practical introduction to caring for and educating children from birth to age 8. The text presents an overview of important theory grounded in the key skills new educators need to succeed - from respect for the diversities of children and families to achieving the most current NAEYC standards.