Customer Reviews for

The Bluest Eye

Average Rating 4
( 356 )
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5 Star

(177)

4 Star

(94)

3 Star

(49)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(20)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Frustrating to read other reviews

This is a great piece in American literature. What I'm having a difficult time with is why there are so many young 'adults' complaining about the violent/graphic nature of the book. It amazes me that a fantastic, socially concious piece of literature, is considered to ...
This is a great piece in American literature. What I'm having a difficult time with is why there are so many young 'adults' complaining about the violent/graphic nature of the book. It amazes me that a fantastic, socially concious piece of literature, is considered to be offensive for being sexually graphic, especially when our culture is saturated with sex and violence. What bothers me, even more than critically unjustifiable opinions, is that teens are completely caught off guard by sexual and violent material that doesnt contain slap-stick humor and apple pies. This book may be 'graphic', but it isnt gratuitous. If you're focusing so much on the 'graphic' content, you've completely missed the point that Morrison was trying to make.

posted by Anonymous on September 9, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

If you enjoy a very sad and depressing pictorial novel, you will enjoy this book.

I must say I did not enjoy this book at all. Hard to follow at times, very depressing, and a very sad ending- I kept hoping that somehow, and, in some way, this little girl would come away a success- (I was "rooting" for her through-out the entire novel)- Perhaps, with ...
I must say I did not enjoy this book at all. Hard to follow at times, very depressing, and a very sad ending- I kept hoping that somehow, and, in some way, this little girl would come away a success- (I was "rooting" for her through-out the entire novel)- Perhaps, with the aid of a mentor, an education, a miracle, or, better yet, all three! Poor little girl-A life worth living in return for all that she had to go through, was what I was hoping for- Unfortunately, this novel never gave her a chance- In addition, this novel is filled with verbal pictorials and jumps from one character development or background to another- definitely, not straight forward- the story goes on and on and does not get to the point- Saddest part of it all, it is a copulation of various and varying vignettes depict yet another depressing episode of this little girl's life and family- If this is the type of books you may enjoy, by all means read on- I walked away after reading this novel asking myself what on earth did I get from reading such a bleak and dark account? Deep sadness! I leave it up to you to make this choice for yourself- This was a book club selection, which I will think twice before returning-

posted by marielenna on November 22, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2004

    absolutely shocked mother

    I am a mother of a 17 year old high school junior in an AP English class. I read this book in horror at the sick topic blatantly discussed at the end of the book. Looking through the eyes of a man who talks about his child pornographic acts that I can't even mention here are disgusting and criminal. Anyone who allows a child to read this book should be ashamed. Even an adult should not read this filth.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 25, 2015

    more from this reviewer

    The Bluest Eye is a classic for the powerful themes that continu

    The Bluest Eye is a classic for the powerful themes that continue to relate to society today. As Toni Morrison mentions in her foreword, we all know what it feels like to be disliked or rejected, be it for a moment or for a suspended period of time. Moving beyond this statement, we all know what it feels like to be dissatisfied with our appearance. Even if we are generally happy with how we look, there will be periods of time when we wish that we were "prettier." The media bombards with with images of the feminine (and masculine) ideal. Advertisements tell us how we can look sexier and be more confident (by buying their products). We are constantly told that we are not up to standard and ought to try harder to look like the ideal. The problem is that we can try our whole lives and never look like the "ideal." Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye examines the intersectionality of race, class, gender, and age in the oppression of black people through beauty ideals and the pressure to conform to them.

    She does this through sketches in the lives of multiple characters of different backgrounds and across generations. Generally, I'm not very fond of novels that move around so much, as it makes it difficult to get to know any particular character, but this technique works for Morrison's novel. Rather than events moving the plot forward (like most novels), the plot takes us through the lives of different characters in order to show how the white beauty ideal influences black people of different temperaments, class, and circumstances . . . causing them to internalize racism. This does mean that there is a lot of narrating going on. At times, I even found it hard to focus on the page. For the most part, however, I felt that Morrison does a good job moving the plot forward. It definitely helps that her writing is strong and interesting with many, many beautiful, powerful lines that moved my heart. Once I started The Bluest Eye, I was reluctant to put down the novel for lengthy periods of time.

    Most importantly, these sketches show us how people come to be the people that they are today. Humans are not born to be terrible. The way our natures interact with the environment to which we are exposed shapes our character. There were characters who I disliked early in the book only to realize later that they were not such terrible beings. At least, not at first. Things happened, and maybe their response wasn't the healthiest, but they lived at some point in their lives. Until they internalized racism and began to believe that they deserved the bad things that happened to them. That people couldn't change. The most notable example of the influence of internalized racism is in the home of the Breedloves. Learning about the lives and thoughts of Mrs. and Mr. Breedlove helped me to better understand the environment in which Pecola grew up. Thinking about how Pecola and her brother's lives could have been different helped me to realize how oppression not only influences the people with whom it comes into immediate contact but also their children and the generations to come. (Compare the parenting Pecola receives to the parenting Claudia receives.)

    I also want to note how Morrison uses the Dick and Jane primer to emphasize the psychological element to oppression. The Dick and Jane primer portrays the ideal white family. The way its grammar and structure falls apart in the first pages of the novel reminds me of horror movies where a seemingly benign and pleasant scene falls apart to become something terrifying. In the same way, the lives of the black families, particularly that of the Breedloves, will upend in The Bluest Eye. The inclusion of distorted sections of the primer at the beginning of certain chapters foreshadows this.

    The Bluest Eye is haunting and beautiful. At the same time, it is terrible and brutal in its honest portrayal of the interlinking systems of oppression through race, class, gender, and age. There are explicit scenes of domestic violence, rape, and sex, as well as a pervasive sense of hopelessness. Nevertheless, there is life, love, and tenderness behind seemingly harsh acts. As Claudia says at the beginning of the novel, "since why is hard to handle, one must take refuge in how." Building upon this statement, if we can learn how things come to be, then we can learn how to ensure history does not repeat itself. We can learn how to keep future generations from sharing Pecola's end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2015

    My review

    I read this book with my english class. Its good but not my type of book to read. But the author's vivid depiction of society in that time period was phenomenal

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2015

    really?

    how can this be a MUST READ? I struggled to get through the book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2014

    Heart wrenching and sadly plausible. It breaks my heart every ti

    Heart wrenching and sadly plausible. It breaks my heart every time and  brings to light many horrible things about the capabilities of the human race. Toni Morrison touches on racism, classism, sexism and ageism in a very beautifully written novel. Highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2014

    Very good book

    Used the book to our female high school mentoring groups to help them understand values about beauty and being yourself. Highly recommended for group or club discussions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2014

    September 2014

    Book came highly recommended. It was a sad , interesting read about being Black and beauty. If you like books like Black Boy and Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry than you will like this book, as well as the time period that it was set in.
    -Sharae M.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Anonymous

    I had never heard of Torri Morrison until I read Th Bluest Eye. I am not sure if I will ever be able to read another of her books,and although at times The Bluest Eye was confusing, it was also very powerful. It gives agreat insight at how racism and prejudices can afect a person and almost destroy them. Torri Morrison's use of languge sometimes left me shocked, but those words had a greater impact on the story, it left me thinking about what happened to Pecolla after the end of the story. (For anyone who enjoyed this book, read We The Animals by Justin Torres, it is another compelling read.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    yes you should read it

    It is a wonderful book and yes you should read it. If the print is too small just get it on your nook and enlarge the text.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    Amazing Book

    If you like this book definitely read "Push"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2014

    Love this

    Great book, a must read for high school students

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    So like i own this book shjould i read it?

    I own this book and i am not sure if i should read it because the book has that tiny print and it us a slow moving book from what i have read. So can i get some advice on this book. Read or no?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Wonderful Author!

    Everything she writes is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Grabs my heart

    Toni Morrison excels at connecting the audience with the characters. Such as sad story but beautiful at times as well.

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  • Posted November 28, 2012

    I enjoyed Morrison's book Beloved, therefore I thought that I en

    I enjoyed Morrison's book Beloved, therefore I thought that I enjoyed her style of writing. Unfortunately this book was terrible. I felt like I was pulling my hair out to finish it. It never got any better. Because of this book I will not be buying any more Toni Morrison books. The subject of the book was not the problem, it was the writing. This is a very slow and over rated book. I regret spending money on it. Unfortunately, I have disliked at least 4 of the Opera "approved" books, I no longer hold her literary opinion highly. Just because you're a charismatic and celebrated personality does not mean you have literary taste.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2012

    o k

    based god would be proud.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Fun rea Touching

    Realky explored my soul

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    Interesting read

    I read this book years ago as a very young woman. It is my favorite Toni Morrison novel to date. Her writing style is different but the tone resonates with you. In my mind i was able to clearly visualize all that happens to poor little Pecola and her dysfunctional family. To this day I am not sure if I am mad at her father, mother, or at the idea that a woman should stay with her husband no matter how horribly they treat you. This girl forever ruined, mentally, has to live with this burden until the end of her days.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2012

    Haunting.. Hauntiing

    This story line was heart breaking and it made me angry at times.dont read if you already have trust isues!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    Toni Morrison is amazing!

    This book was an official Brad Dunning Book Club selection. He said it was his favorite Toni Morrison book, so I checked it out. And I'm glad I did. Wonderfully written; beautiful and heartwrenching throughout. Thanks Brad for the suggestion!

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