The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison Uses

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The Bluest Eye By Toni Morrison Uses Of God And The Church Essay, Research Paper The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Thematic: Uses of God and the Church Morrison places a responsibility for the social dilemma; tragic condition of blacks in a racist America so prominent in the 1940s, on an indefinite God and/or the church. This omniscient being, the creator of all things, both noble and corrupt, and his messengers seem to have in a sense sanctioned the ill fated in order to validate the hatred and scorn of the “righteous.” In her introduction of the Breedlove family, Morrison holds accountable the Breedlove’s acceptance of ugliness to a higher power saying, “It was as though some mysterious all-knowing master had given each one a cloak of ugliness to wear” (Morrison,

39). This divine being not only created ugliness for them but it also ambiguously created an environment that rejected and scorned this ugliness. In her youth Pauline struggles with the same type of uncertainty and contradiction in trying to “hold her mind on the wages of sin,” while “her body trembled for redemption, salvation and a mysterious rebirth that would simply happen, with no effort on her part” (Morrison, 113). Ironically, at the end of the novel it is Soaphead Church, an individual well acquainted with theology, who alone speculates an answer to Claudia’s initial question of “why. Soaphead Church, or more formally, Elihue Micah Whitcomb, inherited “the fine art of self-deception” from his ancestor’s tendencies to credit lies to their ethnicity and

superiority. . Of his family the author says, “They transferred this Anglophilia to their six children and sixteen grandchildren,” and the family is described as one entity; the accomplishments and convictions of the sons are the same as the fathers. Soaphead inherited his persuasiveness and pedophilia from his ancestors’ “lecherous and lascivious” practices and his religious fanaticism from his own father’s secret sect. His letter, addressed to “He who greatly ennobled human nature by creating it,” intends to familiarize an omniscient being with the “facts which have either escaped his notice, or which he has chosen to ignore” (Morrison, 176) saying that he forgot about the children. “You said, ‘Suffer the little children to come unto me, and harm them

not.’ Did you forget? Did you forget about the children? Yes. You forgot. You let them go wanting, sitting on road shoulders, crying next to their dead mothers. I’ve seen them charred, lame, halt. You forgot, Lord. You forgot how and when to be God…That’s why I changed the little black girl’s eyes for her…I did what You could not do. I looked at that ugly little black girl and I loved her. I played You” (Morrison, 181-2). This letter not only incriminates God but it also incriminates the church. In their duty to come to the aid of the unloved and depressed they have failed and instead begun to play God themselves, judging society’s mistakes in the name of righteous superiority. This is evident in Pauline’s successfully achieved martyrdom at the cost of her

marriage and the lives of her children. Pauline Breedlove’s personal history is shown to have played out in extreme measures in the life of her daughter. From the early part of her life she has worn a shroud of shame. The book says that it is due primarily to her injured foot that she felt a sense of separateness and unworthiness and also why she never felt at home anywhere, or that she belonged anyplace. This feeling was intensified by her experiences of exclusion and loneliness after moving up north. She was confronted by prejudice on a daily basis, class and racism, the possible consequences of entirely depending on external conditions for self-image, for in attempting to satisfy a paradigm that differs so radically from reality, African-Americans may destroy their essential