刊物属性
  • 刊物名称:校园英语
  • 国内刊号:CN 13-1298/G4
  • 国际刊号:ISSN 1009-6426
  • 邮发代号: 18-116
  • 数据库收录:中国知网
  • 投稿邮箱:
      tougao@xiaoyuanyingyu.com
  • 时间:2019-07-04 来源:校园英语杂志社

    作者:赵馨蕾
      Toni Morrison’s debut work The Bluest Eye (1970) is marked by its portrayal of how African Americans struggle to carve their identity under the dominance of white culture. Motherhood, which for Morrison as a site of liberation and self-realization” (Taylor-Guthrie 270), is another major issue this novel explores. Motherhood is highly valued in African-American community as the prime source of women welfare and empowerment. According to O’ Reilly, the core of black motherhood, “is how to preserve, protect and more generally empower black children so that they may resist racist practices that seek to harm them and grow into adulthood whole and complete” (O’ Reilly 4).
      In The Bluest Eye, Morrison creates the character Pauline Breedlove to exemplify an African-American female who fails to achieve the expected role of a woman, a wife as well as a mother, partly leading to her daughter’s mental disorder. Nevertheless, Pauline’s failure does not come from nowhere. The essay attempts to analyze Pauline’s absence of maternal role in three dimensions: the black community, the white hegemony as well as family circulation.
      Firstly, Pauline’s absence of maternal role can be largely attributed to geological dislocation, which results in her isolation in the black community. The Bluest Eye unfolds the impact of The Great Migration on the life of the African-Americans, as it separates Pauline from her family and plunges her into feelings of separateness and rootlessness: “Everything changed. It was hard to know folks up here,, and I missed my people. I weren’t used to so much folks” (Morrison 91). In such a new environment, Pauline is incapable of showing proper love to her children: “Sometimes I’d catch myself hollering at them and beating them, and I’d feel sorry for them, but I couldn’t seem to stop” (96). For Pauline, community should function as a zone where her maternal love can be exercised, whereas the separation from her own land makes it difficult for her to understand the concept of family and fulfill her maternal responsibilities.
      Secondly, Pauline’s hatred towards Pecola can be seen as a way to transfer her self-loathing. Being subjected and assimilated to the white value, Pauline fails to find a meaningful understanding of her identity and her culture. In order to escape from self-loathing, Pauline indulges herself in the world of Hollywood movies, since watching movies is “the onliest time [to] be happy” (95). However, the pleasure provided by the movies is also linked with a heap of self-contempt as they are about white people’s happy life. As a consequence, Pauline discharges those negative feelings towards her family members by mistreating them with neglect and violence. Through the portrayal of Pauline, Morrison exposes the the fact that being born and raised in a racist society, it is impossible for black females to stick to the traditional and commonly accepted expressions of motherhood.