The History Of Stereotypes Untypical English Literature Essay

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Throughout the years Americans have conjured up so many different types of stereotypes and "statistics" that they believe to be true about African Americans. Within the African-American stereotypes, numerous of accusations and assumptions are made about African American women. In today's society it is almost impossible for a woman to be considered "perfect". For example, the 1950 era in The Bluest Eye showed that the baby dolls that little girls such as the character Pecola go to buy at the store were blonde hair, blue eyed and fair skinned. by everyone around her that she wasn't attractive. It soon got to her and she began to believe it. "Each night Pecola prayed for blue eyes. In her eleven years, no one had ever noticed Pecola. But with blue eyes, she thought, everything would be different. She would be so pretty that her parents would stop fighting. Her father would stop drinking. Her brother would stop running away. If only she could be beautiful. If only people would look at her." (Back Cover). This plays a significant part in racism and how African-Americans are viewed by different ethnicities. Toni Morrison expressed her feelings about how the world puts such an impact on African American girls. "Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs-all the world had agreed that a blue-eye, yellow-haired, pink-skinned doll was what every girl child treasured." (Morrison 16)

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Toni Morrison, born as Chloe Anthony Wofford was born in Lorain, Ohio, about 25 miles west of Cleveland. Lorain was an Industrial Town. Its citizens worked in steel mills, shipbuilding plants, and automobile factories. Many African Americans went to live in Ohio, where they could find work and escape the racism of the south. (Morrison, 9) Chloe's family was poor and worked hard to earn a living. Chloe's parents, George and Ramah, had lived in the South before their children were born and experienced racism at its peak. George Wofford was a shipyard welder. African Americans were seldom offered good job, they did unpleasant and difficult jobs. Ramah had four children to feed and the income was tight. Toni Morrison's father taught his children to work hard and be prideful of their accomplishments. Morrison's father also taught his children that racism was NEVER tolerated no matter the circumstances are.

After Toni Morrison graduated from college she was offered a job at Texas Southern University, she became an English professor. She was also a professor at Howard University. In addition, Toni Morrison became mayor of Atlanta. Toni Morrison met her husband, a former faculty member at Howard University, Harold Morrison, a Jamaican architect she married in 1958. The Morrison's first son, Harold Ford, was born in 1961. Her marriage deteriorated, and while pregnant with their second child she left her husband, left her job at the university, and took her son on a trip to Europe. Later, she divorced her husband and returned to her parents' house in Lorain with her two sons.

In 1950, racial discrimination was based on the color of your skin. Toni Morrison's work, The Bluest Eye, thoroughly explains that there are different sorts of racism that goes both ways, in a result stereotypes are put together. Toni Morrison shines a specific light on racism of 1950 because she feels that discrimination was at its peak. She stated "It is the blackness that accounts for, that creates, the vacuum edged with distaste in white eye". (Morrison 49) In The Bluest Eye, Pecola, a young African American girl creates world to escape life critics. As it progressed she began to feed into the slanders of people around her saying she was unattractive. The Bluest Eye, a novel by Toni Morrison, was explained to have religious aspects in it that correspond with racism of 1950. "African American woman author and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison's novel 'The Bluest Eye' contains the most intriguing or perplexing religious references." (Alexander, 1998) Also, Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, is describing how society brain washes American's; specifically African Americans; "Critical interpretation of Morrison' novel, "The Bluest Eye", which asserts that "Morrison writes this novel to illustrate how the African American community has lost itself within popular culture's false ideals of beauty and success."(Lott, 1996). Lastly, Toni Morrison felt that she should explore the life of an African American in the 1950's so by writing The Bluest Eye she described self hatred that society of that time period had on them and explained the reasons of why those feelings occurred. "Nearly all of the main characters in "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison who are African American are consumed with the constant culturally-imposed notions of white beauty, cleanliness, and sanitation to the point where they have disengaged with themselves and have disastrous tendency to subconsciously act out their feelings of self-loathing on other members of the of the black community." (Douglas)

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Shortly after Toni Morrison wrote her novel, The Bluest Eye, about a self-hated 11 year -old African American girl named Pecola, she soon wrote a short story called "Recitatif" a story about two young girls who are roommates in an orphanage in 1950. This is an example of racial coding, "The prime point about the story is that Morrison never gives us characters race than by doing so she is intended to reveal the fact that human beings have tendency to categorize people immediately. By overlapping different characters versions of shared history, Morrison shows what can happen when two people's incompatible memories of the same event bump up against each other." By doing this, the two writings by Morrison came be connected her described child hood and witnessing the racism first hand in her community. In addition, the racial profiling shown in both her writings, On the other hand, this quality is understood to have been already lost by white people in a process that was either racial or cultural (perhaps this loss is what makes someone white)"

Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" is an explanation on how beauty is taken to the extreme. The beauty described in the story is African American. The character Pecola believes that if she has blonde hair, fair pinkish skin and blue eyes than she will feel accepted in her society. In conclusion, Toni Morrison novel The Bluest Eye is a description of her life stories thru the eyes of a young eleven year old African American. This concludes that, Toni Morrison became a successful writer and took her life experience and created a coming-of-age novel that displayed the difficult life of a woman as well as an African-American in her time period.