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Toni Morrison - the Bluest Eye

Essay by review  •  November 14, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  815 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,051 Views

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Has anyone ever deliberately left you? Left you alone, feeling deserted, isolated, and by yourself? Imagine you were abandoned by those who were supposed to love you from the day you were born until this present day. How would that make you feel? In Toni Morrison's first novel, The Bluest Eye, she examines the causes, effects, and consequences of abandonment through one character, Cholly Breedlove. As well as the ways he eventually destroys himself and also those around him.

Even before his birth, Cholly Breedlove has felt the vicious sting of loneliness. Cholly Breedlove was born to a young mother who, after four days of life, discarded him in "the rim of a tire under a soft black Georgia sky" (133). His father decided to leave his mother even before Cholly was born. Fortunately, he was rescued by his Great Aunt Jimmy, who raised him thereafter. He grew an intense love for his Aunt Jimmy, but her death marked the first of many episodes that began a downward spiral of his adolescent life.

At Aunt Jimmy's funeral, Cholly is placed into a traumatic world of racism when two white hunters interrupt him having clumsy sexual intercourse with a young girl, Darlene. He immediately transfers his angry energy to Darlene because he realizes that hating two white men would not be the smartest thing to do in a segregated racist world. "Never did he once consider directing his hatred toward the hunters. Such an emotion would have destroyed him...--that hating them would have consumed him, burned him up like a piece of soft coal, leaving only flakes of as and a question mark of smoke" (119). The white men are out of his reach, and Cholly grows to hate and kill white men. His masculinity was revoked when those two men forced him to continue having sex while they hilariously watched.

Cholly abandoned Darlene when he found out she might be pregnant; most likely because he was abandoned by his father as a child. "He had to get away. Never mind the fact that he was leaving that very day...Cholly knew it was wrong to run out on a pregnant girl, and recalled, with sympathy, that his father had done just that to him. Now he understood. He knew then what he must do--find his father. His father would understand" (120).

After being "abandoned in a junk heap by his mother, rejected for a crap game by his father, there was nothing more to lose" with Cholly Breedlove. He had felt the same abandonment he felt his entire life (126).

Finally, he met and married Pauline Williams from Kentucky. Their relationship was full of verbal, physical, and emotionally violent abuse; yet, they could not leave one another. Cholly's daughter Pecola, yearns to have a set of blue eyes to make her beautiful, because she desperately believes she is ugly and that blue eyes will eventually make her pretty. Due to the fatherless experiences in Cholly's life, he did not know how to father his own children. "The sexual incident with the white men resembles his abuse of Pecola. Raping her, he feels the same emotions of guilt, embarrassment, and hatred that he experienced when he was fourteen" (Becker). Morrison shows the causes as to why Cholly would rape his own child; the incident with the white men and Darlene reminds

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