Banned and Challenged Books Week

The Bluest Eye By: Toni Morrison

Quote: " Love is never 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."

" There is no gift for the beloved, the lover alone possesses his gift of love. The loved one is shorn, neutralized, frozen in the glance of lovers inward eyes.

- Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye

Awards: Nominated For Book Award, won the National Book Critics Circle Award, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The American Book Award; The Nobel Prize in literature. And was honored with the 1996 National Book Foundations Medal of Distinguished Contribution To American Letters.

Short Synopsis:

The Bluest Eye is about a young African-American girl, growing up in the 1940's. She struggles with wanting to have blue eyes and blond hair, and accepting herself for who she is. This is based on the author's own childhood experiences.

Why it was banned: It was banned because people thought it is too mature for young students, and it contains sexually explicit content, offensive language, racism, incest, and child molestation.


"Toni Morrison's 'The Bluest Eye' is an inquiry into the reasons why beauty gets wasted in this country...Miss Morrison exposes the negative of the Dick-and-Jane-and-Mother-and-Father-and-Dog-and-Cat photograph that appears in our reading primers, and she does it with a prose so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry."

-The New York Times

"What's it like to grow up in a society where the standard of beauty is dictated by a culture different from your own? This is the question that is central to the theme of the story; which recounts the life of a young black girl named Pecola Breedlove. Set in the 1940's, Pecola struggles for a sense of identity and worth against the backdrop of a blue-eyed, blond-haired "American ideal." Along with her friends...Pecola endures the normal difficulties associated with being a young person, but must also struggle with the matter of race and her own deep longings for blue eyes and the acceptance and love which she assumes will follow. This is Toni Morrison’s first and probably most accessible novel, based on some of her own childhood experiences."

-Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

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