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Word Count: 804
Toni Morrisons novel The Bluest Eye focuses on the emphasis African Americans place on the culture and its emphasis on white standards of beauty and success on the American culture The characters in the novel desire to attain the same level of economic success as white Americans In the novels time period specifically the year 1941 African Americans faced social barriers in their efforts to achieve class status beyond the working class The social aspects American cultures presented to African Americans contributed to their alienation and the loss of community as well as of identity Given that African Americans were generally confined to lower levels of class status the importance of attaining a higher level of success was essential Therefore many African Americans migrated from the south to the north to achieve economic gain Although the move increased the probability of success many African Americans began conforming to white standards The desire to conform to white standards plays a significant role in how African Americans view them selves Morrison portrays the effect African American culture has on the characters in the novel The novels basic theme revolves around African Americans conformity to white standards Although beauty is the larger theme of the novel Morrison analyzes the dominant white cultures influence on class levels Morrison sets the foundation of the novel on issues of beauty in an attempt to make African Americans aware that they do not have to conform to white standards on any level Morrisons main character Pecola B reedlove unquestioningly accepts the beliefs that white features associate with beauty The novel is told by Claudia one of Pecolas childhood friends Claudias description allows the reader to sympathize with Pecolas self-hatred As an adult Claudia best express how Pecolas victimization is caused by her environment Telling the story almost three decades later during the sixties Claudia reflects on the pain of wanting to be something you can never become Morrisons depiction of a
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