The Bluest Eye is Toni Morrison’s first novel. Although it did not achieve critical or commercial success upon its original publication in 1970, it is now regarded as a masterpiece in many literary circles. It is an important work in Morrison’s oeuvre and also a seminal novel of our times. Set in Morrison’s hometown of Lorraine, Ohio in the 1940s, the story confronts the devastating effects of racism on an eleven-year-old black girl named Pecola Breedlove. Morrison examines Pecola’s fascination with wanting blue eyes as a means to erasing her self-perceived ugliness. What constitutes beauty? How does the idea of ugliness pollute our minds? Morrison takes on society’s tendency to marginalize beauty and make everyone and everything that falls outside that sphere feel inferior. Full of poetic prose and painful emotion, The Bluest Eye is one of Morrison’s most widely-read novels.

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