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35 Powerful The Bluest Eye Quotes From Toni Morrison

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Pecola and Claudia quotes can be eye-opening.

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'The Bluest Eye' is a masterpiece that depicts racism in terms of standard of beauty, social standards and circumstances.

The novel presents its message through the narration of Claudia MacTeer of the Breedlove family. The family included the child, Pecola, her parents, her mother, Pauline Breedlove, and her father Cholly Breedlove.

Claudia and Pecola were friends but they were much different in terms of a lot of things. In terms of behavior, Claudia was a free soul and a rebel. She hated how Shirley Temple was made to be a beauty icon but in terms of being able to relate, she never could, so she was vocal about it. But Pecola was much more calm and quiet and she suffered more for it. The circumstances of the girls can be seen from the viewpoint of Claudia from when she was a child and in terms of adults too. Toni Morrison gave much more analysis on the difference of social standards and racial standards through the novel. Read up on these quotes below to understand more.

If you liked our The Bluest Eye quotes go check out 'Kite Runner' quotes and Zora Neale Hurston quotes.

Best Quotes From 'The Bluest Eye'

Breedlove family characters analysis can be understood through the quotes.

'The Bluest Eye' written by Toni Morrison is one of a kind in terms of showing racism, differences in terms of money, beauty, and ugliness through the life of the characters of the story. These are some of the best and most important lines and quotes, like 'The Bluest Eye' Pecola quotes will give you an idea of the story.

1. "A little black girl yearns for the blue eyes of a little white girl, and the horror at the heart of her yearning is exceeded only by the evil of fulfillment."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

2. "There is no gift for the beloved. The lover alone possesses his gift of love. The loved one is shorn, neutralized, frozen in the glare of the lover's inward eye."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

3. "We stare at her, wanting her bread, but more than that wanting to poke the arrogance out of her eyes and smash the pride of ownership that curls her chewing mouth."

- Narrator, 'Autumn'.

4. "Each member of the family in his own cell of consciousness, each making his own patchwork quilt of reality…From the tiny impressions gleaned from one another, they created a sense of belonging and tried to make do with the way they found each other."

- Narrator, 'Autumn'.

5. "She left me the way people leave a hotel room. A hotel room is a place to be when you are doing something else. Of itself it is of no consequence to one's major scheme."

- Narrator, 'Spring'.

6. "More strongly than my fondness for Pecola, I felt a need for someone to want the black baby to live - just to counteract the universal love of white baby dolls, Shirley Temples, and Maureen Peals."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

7. "We honed our egos on her, padded our characters with her frailty, and yawned in the fantasy of our strength."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

8. "We rearranged lies and called it truth, seeing in the new pattern of an old idea the Revelation and the Word."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

9. "Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs—all the world had agreed that a blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned doll was what every girl child treasured."

- Narrator, 'Autumn'.

10. "The Breedloves lived there, nestled together in the storefront. Festering together in the debris of a realtor's whim. They slipped in and out of the box of peeling grey, making no stir in the neighborhood, no sound in the labor force, and no wave in the mayor's office."

- Narrator, 'Autumn'.

11. "If there is somebody with bluer eyes than mine, then maybe there is somebody with the bluest eyes. The bluest eyes in the whole world. That's just too bad, isn't it?"

- Pecola, 'Summer'.

12. "We loved him. Even after what came later, there was no bitterness in our memory of him."

- Narrator, 'Autumn'.

13. "Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

14. "Pauline and Cholly loved each other. He seemed to relish her company and even to enjoy her country ways and lack of knowledge about city things."

- Narrator, 'Spring'.

15. "We courted death in order to call ourselves brave, and hid like thieves from life."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

'The Bluest Eye' Quotes About Beauty

Analysis of the events can be found in the quotes.

Toni Morrison showed the racial standard in terms of beauty through the viewpoint of Claudia of the Breedlove family, mainly Pecola. Read up on these quotes to understand Pecola in-depth and her yearning for blue eyes.

16. "She was never able, after her education in the movies, to look at a face and not assign it some category in the scale of absolute beauty, and the scale was one she absorbed in full from the silver screen."

- Narrator, 'Spring'.

17. "It was the first time I knew beautiful. Had imagined it for myself. Beauty was not simply something to behold; it was something one could do."

- Toni Morrison, 'Foreword'.

18. "They lived there because they were poor and black, and they stayed there because they believed they were ugly."

- Narrator, 'Autumn'.

19. "You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. Then you realized that it came from conviction, their own conviction."

- Narrator, 'Autumn'.

20. "But their ugliness was unique. No one could have convinced them that they were not relentlessly and aggressively ugly."

- Narrator, 'Autumn'.

21. "All of our waste which we dumped on her and which she absorbed. And all of our beauty, which was hers first and which she gave to us. All of us - all who knew her - felt so wholesome after we cleaned ourselves on her."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

22. "The master had said, 'You are ugly people.' They had looked about themselves and saw nothing to contradict the statement; saw, in fact, support for it leaning at them from every billboard, every movie, every glance."

- Narrator, 'Autumn'.

23. "Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another - physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion."

- Narrator, 'Spring'.

24. "The birdlike gestures are worn away to a mere picking and plucking her way between the tire rims and the sunflowers, between Coke bottles and milkweed, among all the waste and beauty of the world—which is what she herself was."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

25. "It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes, those eyes that held the pictures, and knew the sights - if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different."

- Narrator, 'Autumn'.

Powerful 'The Bluest Eye' Quotes

Toni Morrison presents a powerful message throughout the story of 'The Bluest Eye'. A Black family like the Breedlove can be seen, in another, through the life and words of Claudia, it can be seen that they can be just as powerful. These few quotes below will provide you with more information.

26. "Sunk in the grass of an empty lot on a spring Saturday, I split the stems of milkweed and thought about ants and peach pits and death and where the world went when I closed my eyes."

- Narrator, 'Spring'.

27. "We were lesser. Nicer, brighter, but still lesser … Guileless and without vanity, we were still in love with ourselves then. We felt comfortable in our skins, enjoyed the news that our senses released to us, admired our dirt, cultivated our scars, and could not comprehend this unworthiness."

- Narrator, 'Winter'.

28. "We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom."

- Narrator, 'Spring'.

29. "We had defended ourselves since memory against everything and everybody, considered all speech a code to be broken by us, and all gestures subject to careful analysis; we had become headstrong, devious, and arrogant … Our limitations were not known to us - not then."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

30. "Anger is better. There is a sense of being in anger. A reality and presence. An awareness of worth. It is a lovely surging."

- Narrator, 'Autumn'.

31. "A little black girl yearns for the blue eyes of a little white girl, and the horror at the heart of her yearning is exceeded only by the evil of fulfillment."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

32. "And the lives of these old black women were synthesized in their eyes- a puree of tragedy and humor, wickedness and serenity, truth and fantasy."

- Narrator, 'Spring'.

33. "But to find out the truth about how dreams die, one should never take the word of the dreamer."

- Narrator, 'Spring'.

34. "This soil is bad for certain kinds of flowers. Certain seeds it will not nurture, certain fruit it will not bear, and when the land kills of its own volition, we acquiesce and say the victim had no right to live. We are wrong, of course, but it doesn't matter."

- Narrator, 'Summer'.

35. "There is really nothing more to say - except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how."

- Toni Morrison.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'The Bluest Eye' quotes then why not take a look at ['Beloved' quotes], or [Maya Angelou love quotes].

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