Where an adult or college student might be better prepared to grasp the book as a whole, a room full of hormonal teenagers might not. I feel as though the situation was handled with sensitivity and consideration and did not take away from my learning experience. The Bluest Eye is 's first novel, published in 1970. The story focuses on 9-year-old Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl in Lorain, Ohio who dreams of having blue eyes. Working with parents is more meaningful and productive than eliminating a whole literary work, she said. Toni Morrison does a fantastic job at revealing the truth about racism and child abuse throughout her book The Bluest Eye. Not because she was absurd, or repulsive, or because we were frightened, but because we had failed her.
It tells her that to be beautiful is to be white. The narrative is, truly, as much about the archetypal blue eyes themselves as a small black girl who desires them. What is The Bluest Eye About and Why Should I Care? Antwerp was written in 1980, a time when a young Bolano was shifting his principal form from poetry to prose, and the transition between forms is incomplete. Scow said lessons focus on the writing style of the novel, but also offer a safe space to discuss some of the more disturbing plot twists. This, she believes, could change her lot in life. In May, after other parents called for stricter measures, Gdowski told Legacy English teachers they must offer at least one section of literature classes in which the book would not be taught. There is no neat bow for Morrison to tie everything up in at the conclusion of the novel, because most of the time there is no neat bow for life.
But the contemporary narrative is also about the blue eyes of the frustrated, angry, young white males who find the shifting American landscape incomprehensible. But unlike many controversial books from the 1970s, people continue to try to ban The Bluest Eye. The lines begin to blur and run together-as they do at the beginning of select chapters. But that is not the point of literature. As we write this guide to one of the most famous depictions of incest and beauty myths in American literature, these themes are taking center stage once again in popular culture. Parents, teachers, and school administrators have protested The Bluest Eye since its release in 1970.
I have a problem with the books graphic nature of said content being considered suitable for minor students. By the time teenagers are in the 11 th grade, they have heard plenty of offensive language and seen plenty of sexually explicit or violent material—and all they had to do was turn on the radio or the television. Blocking it from classrooms would set a dangerous precedent that could unfairly eliminate other literary works that include challenging material, they said. Banned books The Bluest Eye contains extremely graphic scenes of emotional and physical devastation. The Bluest Eye forces us as readers to confront our own ideas of what counts as beautiful. As recently as 2006, the book was ranked the fifth most banned or challenged book in the United States. Lee Daniels's 2009 film based on , has gotten people thinking about poverty, race, beauty, and incest in new and still-relevant ways.
I would not want my son to pick it up and read it before he had the tools to deal with and understand the material. Other major awards include: the 1996 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, the Pearl Buck Award 1994 , the title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters Paris, 1994 , and 1978 Distinguished Writer Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Literature should, on some level, be entertaining, but that cannot be its only intention. To the extent that society blames the victim and chooses to ignore unpleasant facts, it is also to blame. Teachers kept this in mind this year when they decided to teach the book to an 11th grade Advanced Placement literature class and sent home permissions slips to all parents, advising them about the book's contents and offering a chance for students to read an alternate assignment. One student who actually did choose not to read the book for religious reasons, however, signed the counter-petition to keep it in classrooms, : I did not feel excluded from the lesson in any way. Both books will remain available in the school library.
Art, be it painted, or written, or shown on the silver screen, is supposed to show us something about the world or about ourselves. Novellas occupy a shifting gray area in the middle. Key Facts full title · The Bluest Eye author · Toni Morrison type of work · Novel genre · Coming-of-age, tragedy, elegy language · English time and place written · New York, 1962— 1965 date of first publication · 1970 publisher · Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. American Experience spoke with her about the book. Children who have been through them, for indtsnce, would at the very least be further damaged by the authors stated intention to make the reader cohorts with the rapist. There are other, increasingly archaic subcategories, but who wants to get bogged down in the fine distinctions between a novella and a novelette? She studied English at Howard University and Cornell University, before teaching English at various universities and working as an editor. A new thought arrived to me as a young woman— I could make my own choices and I could choose the hard things.
There is nothing about The Bluest Eye that is easy, and because of that it is one of the most challenged books in America. The second time I saw it on my syllabus I shivered. Do we try to change ourselves in order to fit what other people find beautiful, like Pauline? Teachers may still assign The Color Purple, but must get signed consent from a parent or guardian of any student who reads it. She took pains to make sure she never portrayed the actions as wrong in order to show how everyone has their own problems. In response, current and former students from the district also started to retain the books and protect the free expression of teachers and students. There, she completed a thesis on the theme of suicide in the works of Faulkner and Virginia Woolf. Before coming to Princeton, she held teaching posts at Yale University, Bard College, and Rutgers University.
Ordinarily, my parents bought my brother, my sister, and me the same toys: trucks and cars and puzzles that we could play with together. The books, their spines worn and proud, had been there for some time but I was young and had not known to look, to see them. . The first strike came from Alabama State Senator Bill Holtzclaw who, in late August, bowed to Tea Party pressure and said that he thinks the book should be banned in schools. What values have been lost in the migration north? About 20 high school students are leading a petition to keep the novel on classroom reading lists.
But this is one where I do understand why it is challenged. Why do you teach this book? It is common for parents to bring up concerns about some of the books taught in any of Legacy's English classes, Scow said. But on any given day the front page of the newspaper is a compendium of horrors: war, torture, shootings, rape, racism, and misogyny are described, often graphically, and illustrated with gruesome pictures. For the vast majority of my life I thought that straight hair or lighter eyes or lighter skin was what beauty was. In any form, at any length.
Bowing to Tea Party pressure, Alabama State Senator Bill Holtzclaw said this week that he thinks The Bluest Eye, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison's novel about a little Black girl who wishes for blue eyes, should be banned in schools. Ultimately, the 2010 challenge resulted in a number of restrictions being placed on how the book could be taught, to what grade level and in what context. In 2011, she was honored as the Milken National Educator of the year. If, as most educators hope, high school is a stopping point to higher education, it seems to us students would be better served if they are exposed to some of the same kinds of materials and the same kinds of expectations they will see in an institution of higher learning. By using literature as a way to examine these issues … we can better prepare students and young people to understand these very real issues that exist in the world that they are going to enter upon graduation.