Still, I am reading The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and I find myself enjoying it very much. As of now I am very interested in the topic of discrimination within this book because it something that all the characters face in some way, shape, or form. The time period is around the 1940s, a period of time where African Americans suffered greatly from prejudice and discrimination. A quote that stuck to me was “Poor and black, and they stayed there because they believed they were ugly” (Morrison 38). This is examining the living conditions of an African American family, The Breedloves, and is explaining that the reason they lived in a storefront was not because they had some temporary difficulties but because of societal norms, they were forced to lived there and were seen as inferior to white people. Something that I really thought about after reading this quote was that African American families during this time period were instilled with fear and were basically forced to abide by societal norms set by white people. They had to come to an agreement with themselves that they were “ugly” because they were black which made no sense at all from my perspective. Shortly after this quote, Claudia explains that the family’s ugliness was something that was given by a master which represents white people and how the family just had to accept it because if they went against anything the master said, there would be consequences. In my opinion, I feel like the African Americans at the time just had to come to an agreement with themselves in order to avoid harsh consequences which seems extremely unjust.
Something that I disagree with is the overall structure of some chapters and their beginnings. For example almost all chapters start with one big combined sentence that was mentioned in the Foreword such as “HEREISTHEFAMILYMOTHERFATHERDICKANDJANETHEYLIVEINTHEGREENANDWHITEHOUSETHEYARVERYH”. To me, this makes understanding the chapter a bit more difficult because the title is supposed to give some background about what is to come. Also, I find myself re-reading many chapters because sometimes the beginnings are just unclear. Some chapters just start right away with no context making it hard for me to comprehend what is going on. However, there is an aspect of the story that I do agree on. As mentioned earlier, in the story these African Americans are not given any choice but to come to an agreement with themselves that they are inferior. Claudia’s tone towards this is accepting but ambivalent, she knows that there is nothing anyone can do to stop the discrimination but she wants something to be done in order for her family and other African American families to feel accepted. I agree with Morrison’s choice of tone because Claudia is just a child so the topic of discrimination is something she may not fully understand but is affected by it.