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Quest for Personal Identity in Toni Morrisons The Bluest EyePost World War I many new opportunities were given to the growing andexpanding group of African Americans living in the North Almost 50000African Americans moved to the northern states between 1910 and 1920 Thiswas the beginning of a continuing migration northward More than 1500000blacks went north in the 1930s and 250000 in the 1940s Life in theNorth was very hard for African Americans Race riots limited housingresulting in slum housing and restricted job opportunities were only a fewof the many hardships that the African American people had to face at thistime Families often had to separate social agencies were overcrowded withpeople that all needed help crime rates increased and many other resultingproblems ensued The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison takes place during thistime period A main theme in this novel is the quest for individualidentity and the influences of the family and community in that questTrescott This theme is present throughout the novel and evident in manyof the characters Pecola Breedlove Cholly Breedlove and PaulineBreedlove and are all embodiments of this quest for identity as well assymbols of the quest of many of the Black northern newcomers of that time The Breedlove family is a group of people under the same roof a family byname only Cholly the father is a constantly drunk and abusive man Hisabusive manner is apparent towards his wife Pauline physically and towardshis daughter Pecola sexually Pauline is a mammy to a white family andcontinues to favor them over her biological family Pecola is a little blackgirl with low self esteem The world has led her to believe that she is uglyand that the epitome of beautiful requires blue eyes Therefore everynight she prays that she will wake up with blue eyes Brought up as a poor unwanted girl Pecola Breedlove desires the acceptanceand love of society The image of Shirley Temple beauty surrounds her Inher mind if she was to be
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