The Bluest Eye was set between 1940 and 1941 in Lorain, Ohio.
Major characters include Claudia and Frieda MacTeer, Pecola Breedlove, Pauline aka Mrs. Breedlove and Cholly Breedlove.
This book told the story of two young girls who are a complete opposite of each other. The story was mostly told from Claudia and Pecola’s point of views. The novel started off with Claudia narrating her life with her sister Frieda and her parents. She came across as very confident, high self esteem and unashamedly black.
Before reading the book I knew it was about a girl who lost confidence in her self worth and wanted blue eyes. So, when I started reading about Claudia’s unshakable confidence and dislike of dolls that look nothing like her I was worried and even afraid. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle such a girl losing all that confidence. By this time I didn’t know the protagonist was Pecola. I enjoyed Claudia’s narrative so much so that she made me wish for a daughter like her. I also wished all black girls would be like her. Even when adults shoved white baby dolls with blue eyes and blonde hair on her she never doubted or hated her own beauty. Bullies were scared of picking on her because not only would she stand up against them she had her sister to fight for her too.
Pecola on the other hand, was weak minded with low self esteem. Everyone including her own parents thought she was very ugly. I didn’t appreciate that and I think that contributed to her desiring a blue eye. She was easily bullied and ridiculed. Claudia and Frieda were good friends to her and always came to her rescue . More than anyone else, she deserved love but could never get it from her family. With the help of Soaphead Church aka the pedophile fake minister she got her blue eyes but this was where things got interesting and a bit confusing. Soaphead Church stated that Pecola would be the only one able to see her blues eyes. Initially, I thought that comment was odd but then it later dawned on me when Pecola started speaking to a friend that no one else could see but her that maybe that man made her mad? But how though? The book never explained or gave detail of what really happened to her.
My least favorite character was Cholly. Not only was he a drunk and abusive husband but he was also a worthless father who raped and impregnated his own daughter, Pecola. I didn’t enjoy reading his backstory, I thought it was boring and unnecessary.
I was very disappointed in how Mrs. Breedlove handled the rape of her daughter by her piece of shit husband. She victim blamed which most people do today and beat her senseless without caring that Pecola was an innocent victim who needed the love and support of her mother more than ever.
Overall, it was a great book! Unlike Sula, The Bluest Eye captured my attention and arrested my interest. I was intrigued by the characters especially Claudia. I thought the book was slightly funny too. I found myself laughing out loud at some scenes that probably weren’t meant to be funny.
Will I recommend The Bluest Eye? That’s a big fat YES!