In the novel The Bluest Eyes, Toni Morrison discusses many significant social issues, including racism and incest. The main character of the novel, a young black girl Pecola, who lives in Lorain, becomes a victim ”“ her father-alcoholic rapes her. The author of the novel describes a difficult life of the girl and reveals such theme as the role of skin color in the life of an individual. Toni Morrison states, “There can’t be anyone, I’m sure, who does not know what it feels like to be disliked, even rejected, momentarily of for sustained periods of time.”¯12 In this novel, whiteness means beauty. It means that whiteness is a so-called standard that the blacks have no opportunity to meet. Pecola’s skin is darker than the skin of other girls. According to the plot of the novel,Ā Pecola tries to connect beauty with love and believes that in case she had blue eyes, her life would be different, full of love and kindness. The young girl also believes that the cruelty and bad relation to her as a person is connected with her appearance. Pecola is sure that if a girl has beautiful blue eyes, she will be treated equally. Unfortunately, her wish is hopeless and leads her to madness. In this novel, Toni Morrison refers to race relations and gender discrimination. The main argument of the author is that discrimination exists in our society in different forms. In the novel, special attention is paid to sexual abuse. There are several acts of sexual abuse in the novel. Cholly, Pecola’s father rapes his own daughter. It means that he repeats his sexual humiliation which he experienced upon the demand of two white men. The author of the novel supports her ideas by her own experience. She faced race discrimination and today she wants all people to be treated equally. That is why she pays much attention to the role of skin color and the color of eyes in the novel The Bluest Eyes. Tony Morrison supports her arguments rather effectively as she uses a lot of scenes of sexual abuse and race discrimination, and her characters have many psychological problems connected with their race and gender issues.
In the article The Real Trouble with Black English, Rosina Lippi-Green discusses the existence of Black English and its role in modern society. The author of the article states that today there is “a general unwillingness to accept the speakers of that language and the social choices they have made as viable and functional.”¯ 13 Rosina Lippi-Green as well as many other scholars are sure that African American English will be stigmatized for a long time, as long as African Americans face race discrimination in our society. For example, AAE contains some specific features, such as phonological differences. One of such differences is pronunciation of the widely used word “ask”¯ as “aks”¯. Although the Oxford English Dictionary includes several variations of this word which go back thousands of years, many English speakers are sure that the pronunciation of the word “aks”¯ instead of ask”¯ in considered to be “the most horrendous of errors.”¯14 Many critics state that the blacks are ignorant to the proper pronunciation of the word “ask”¯ as well as to a great number of other words and grammar rules. Besides, Rosina Lippi-Green states that “the primary educational goal in our schools brings together the acquisition of literacy with acceptance and acknowledgement of a Standard US English.”¯15 The author’s argument that many African Americans violate the established rules of pronunciation in English because they face race discrimination. It can be regarded as their protest against racism in our society. The author of the article supports her argument by different examples and by the commentaries of other scholars.
CHANGES IN MY PERCEPTION OF RACE, GENDER, SEXUALITY AND CLASS THAT HAVE TAKEN EFFECT BECAUSE OF THIS COURSE
This course helped me to change my perception of race, gender, sexuality and class in some way. I know that racial discrimination is wrong and it can ruin the life of any individual. That is why I am against racism in our society. I am sure that all people should be treated equally, no matter what race, gender, sexuality or class they belong to. Today, international tolerance is of great importance.
REFLECTION ON HOW THIS COURSE WILL AFFECT MY DECISIONS THAT I WILL TAKE IN MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE
I am sure that this course will have enormous impact on my decisions that I will take in my professional life. I am ready to treat people of different nationalities and races equally. I think it is very important for any professional to know that racism leads to destruction and to avoid racial discrimination in the workplace.
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that today many people in our society have already changed their relation to other races. They are against racism, gender discrimination and class inequalities. Many sociologists and scholars discuss these issues in their works and try to persuade all people that racism should be stamped out.