Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

How I Heard About It:  Being a member of the BBC (Boy's Book Club) always stretches me as a reader and "forces" me to read books that I normally might not read.  A guy in our group picked this "classic" because the play was going to be performed in Minneapolis and some of us were going to be attending the show.  I knew the the title, but really didn't know the story-line.  

What It Is About:  Pecola Breedlove is a little black girl living in the 1940's.  She is extremely unhappy being black, different, and what she considers "ugly".  Her dream is to be a white girl with blue eyes.  She prays for this day in and day out.  After an "incident" in her room, she is displaced and has to live with two other young black girls.  They are both helpful and harmful in her quest to be something new and different.  Pecola's parents both have issues which have followed them through their own lives and impacted Pecola in more ways than she can handle.  Her father's "demons" are getting more and more pronounced, and in the end have a devastating effect on his daughter.  She stills remains strong in her desire to be beautiful, white, and have blue eyes; despite what effect this will have on her self.  

What I Thought Of It:  These type of novels always make me feel not so "smart".  I had a hard time following the plot because of the writing style.  That is not the fault of Toni Morrison, but more about me and my preference for stories.  This was beautifully well-written with a really heavy subject matter.  I just couldn't "get into" the story and had a hard time understanding what was going on during different sections of the book.  It did help to see the play because it connected some of the missing dots for me.  I wish I was the type of reader that enjoyed "true literature", but for the most part it just doesn't bring me pleasure that some other maybe more "simple" type stories.  

Who Should Read It:  This is the type of novel for readers that enjoy and thrive off of deep, moving, and complex literature.  The writing is thoughtful, complex, and deeply moving.  I know many adult readers that love Morrison's writing and have read everything she has written.  The message/theme of the story is an important one.  I could also see this novel being used in high school and colleges classes to discuss race, identity, and the way we see ourselves.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  3 STARS out of 5 Stars

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