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Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Examination Thesis from the year 2009 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Koblenz-Landau (Anglistik), language: English, abstract: Throughout history, the highly contested concepts of race and gender have adversely shaped the lives of millions of people. In the United States it is most notably Native Africans and African Americans who have been victimized on the grounds of their skin color. Women of African descent have suffered a double jeopardy due to the intersection of race and gender. For a great many of African Americans, men and women alike, literature has become an “important vehicle to represent the social context, to expose inequality, racism and social injustice.” In The Bluest Eye Toni Morrison explores the issue of African American female identity. The female Bildungsroman scrutinizes the problem of growing up black and female in a society which equates beauty with blue-eyed whiteness. Consumer goods, the media, adult approval and a dismissive attitude towards her mislead the protagonist Pecola Breedlove to internalize white beauty standards. With the story of Pecola, Morrison points out how the internalization leads to racial self-loathing and eventually to self-destruction. Nonetheless, the negative tone of The Bluest Eye is in part counteracted through Claudia MacTeer, whose narrative is juxtaposed to Pecola’s anti-Bildung and thus turns the novel into a double Bildungsroman with one girl “growing up” and the other one “growing down.” The following thesis will focus on the issues of race and gender in The Bluest Eye. The topic can be considered of particular relevance as it addresses a theme which remained unexamined until the 1970s, a theme which many have not wanted to know about and which others have been in denial about. Morrison, though, faces the truth about the intersection of race and gender by exploring in her novel how racism and sexism function, as well as the devastating consequences that can occur. Her debut further underlines that the search for culprits is complicated since the perpetrators in the crimes against Pecola are often victims themselves. [...]
Toni Morrison features a collection of ten new essays by noted Morrison scholars, including recipients of the Toni Morrison Society Book Award. Focusing upon Morrison's most recently published novels (Paradise, Love, A Mercy) the contributors to this volume revisit issues that continue to engage Morrison and are part of the currency of contemporary American literary and cultural history. These selections examine Morrison's ongoing "romance" with African Americans as they continue to battle the demons of race, gender, class, and poverty, to name a few. Together, these essays offer comprehensive and nuanced discussions of Morrison's latest novels and provide new directions for Morrison scholarship in the 21st century. This volume provides students of literature, cultural studies, and history with an overview of Morrison's examination of African American progress and leadership at key moments in American history and culture from the Colonial Period to the present. Through their thematic interconnectedness, the essays reveal Morrison at her most brilliant in her ability to reach into the past to comment on contemporary issues.
This history of one of the most contentious educational issues in America examines bilingual instruction in the United States from the common school era to the recent federal involvement in the 1960s and 1970s. Drawing from school reports, student narratives, legal resources, policy documents, and other primary sources, the work teases out the underlying agendas and patterns in bilingual schooling during much of America s history. The study demonstrates clearly how the broader context - the cultural, intellectual, religious, demographic, economic, and political forces - shaped the contours of dual-language instruction in America between the 1840s and 1960s. Ramsey s work fills a crucial void in the educational literature and addresses not only historians, linguists, and bilingual scholars, but also policymakers and practitioners in the field.
Inhaltsangabe:Abstract: African-American, Chinese-American and Mexican-American female adolescents are representatives of minority groups in the United States. The three groups of ethnic girls were assigned derogative stereotypes by many Euro-American writers who did not portray their characters authentically. The modern female ethnic authors undertake the battle with stereotypes that are the main source of girls problems. They attempt to convince the reader that the lives of young girls cannot be interpreted according to offending images imposed on them. This thesis aims to draw attention to the problems encountered by female ethnic adolescents in Toni Morrison s The Bluest Eye (1970), Maxine Hong Kingston s The Woman Warrior (1976), Sandra Cisneros The House on Mango Street (1984) and to portray their survival or collapse in American society. Each of the books presented in the present study is a masterpiece of great literary value. Toni Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993. Sandra Cisneros was the winner of the 1985 Before Columbus American Book Award. Maxine Kingston won the National Book Critics Award with The Woman Warrior, which was designated as non-fiction in 1976. All of these books contribute significantly to the study of ethnic female adolescents. The books chosen for the purpose of this thesis portray girls in an adolescent period. The adolescents presented in this study are aged between ten and twenty-one and are socially, economically and politically dependent on their parents or guardians. To further complicate matters, the experiences of girls of colour are more complex than those encountered by white adolescents. As the typical conflicts within the family, problems with gender, sexual development, education and friends are juxtaposed with issues of racism and very often a lower social status. In the light of these facts it does not come as a surprise that many ethnic adolescent girls have problems finding their self . The first section of the initial chapter of this thesis takes into consideration the stereotypical image of Euro-American adolescent girl as it often serves as a contradiction of the popular images of ethnic girls. Furthermore, the chapter examines stereotypes of African-American, Chinese-American and Mexican-American adolescents. Despite their variety, the stereotypes are the cause of girls victimisation in society. The five following chapters analyse the problems more often [...]
The fifteen essays in this collection explore the resonant intertextual relationship between the fiction of William Faulkner and that of Toni Morrison. Although the two writers are separated by a generation as well as by differences of race, gender, and regional origin, this close critical examination of the creative dialogue between their oeuvres is both timely and appropriate.Toni Morrison's brilliant and powerful novels of the past two decades have accorded her a position in the front ranks of American writers, and like Faulkner before her, she has been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. She has publicly acknowledged her artistic indebtedness to Faulkner on a number of occasions. But Morrison also resists the Faulknerian heritage in profound ways. This resistance is certainly, in part at least, the natural reluctance of any highly original artist to be regarded as the product of her predecessor's influence. This push-pull of Morrison's acceptance of and resistance to the Faulknerian heritage provides a major source for the critical energy exhibited in this collection.Each contributor, whether addressing broad, general issues in both writers or whether detailing similarities and differences in particular works, finds that the authors illuminate each other. No reader of Faulkner will ever read him in the same way after encountering Morrison.Carol A. Kolmerten is a professor of English at Hood College. Stephen M. Ross is director of the Office of Challenge Grants, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the coauthor of Reading Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury. Judith Bryant Wittenberg is a professor and chair of the English department at Simmons College.
The Bluest Eye is one of Toni Morrison's most powerful novels. The Nobel Laureate's debut is the story of Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl who prays for her eyes to turn blue so that she will be as beautiful as all the blond, blue-eyed children in America. This book presents an impressive collection of updated critical essays and an insightful introduction by editor Harold Bloom that will enrich students' insight into this heartbreaking classic that tackles the crucial themes of race and identity.

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