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Claudia and Her Doll - The Bluest Eye

            What could provoke a nine-year old girl to dismember her beautiful, brand new doll? In Toni Morrison's novel "The Bluest Eye", the distortion of beauty instilled within Black Americans of the late 20th century are portrayed (taken apart?) by the first-person perspectives of a Black girl and her grown-up self. On pages 21-22 of the novel, the protagonist Claudia recounts her Christmas memory of receiving a fair skinned doll. Instead of her doll, as most readers would expect, Claudia bluntly expresses her disgust towards "a blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned doll" that "the world had agreed" "every girl child [should] [treasure]", and dismembers it in a fit of rage. Using the innocent narrative voice that interchanges between the perspectives of nine-year old Claudia and her adult-self, the motif of the doll and connotative diction, Morrison emphasizes the emotional scars rejection young girls felt as a result of society's establishment of beauty.
             The author effectively interchanges the narrative voice between her adult voice and nine year old perspective on events that happened, which gives the audience a direct insight to how white beauty standards deformed the lives of blacks girls and women. When Claudia is given a doll for Christmas, she is confused and wonders, "What was I supposed to do with it? Pretend to be its mother?" The adults expect Claudia would love and cradle the "beautiful doll". Instead, she felt that "to hold [the doll] was [not] rewarding." She responds to this present with unexpected anger, which gave Claudia "only one desire: to dismember it. To see of what it was made, to discover the dearness, to find the beauty, the desirability that had escaped [her]." The nine year old narrative voice gives an honest and innocent portrayal of how Claudia felt when she was given a doll that she saw no resemblance to.

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