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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Toni Morrison’s debut novel, “The Bluest Eye” is a thought-provoking and invigorating story. It follows two working-class families in Lorain, Ohio during the Great Depression: the MacTeers and the Breedloves. The families’ paths cross when the youngest Breedlove—Pecola—stays with the MacTeers while her father’s in jail, and she shares a room with Claudia and Fredia. The three girls are close in age and develop a friendship based on the care and protectiveness they have for each other. 

Morrison has an incredibly unique voice in her novels. Each word she uses has a purpose in each sentence, and every sentence is key to the paragraph. She is intentional with her language while creating vivid imagery and distinct characters which bring the story to life. She also has a great blend of poetry in her fiction: there is rhythm to her syntax that makes for a fast read and a story which leaves you wanting more in the best way possible. 

How many young girls have dreamed of having blue eyes? I know I did. Morrison portrays the effect of eurocentric beauty standards and the degradation of anyone who doesn’t fit the “conventional” image through the perspective of two little girls: one who resents this sentiment and one who dreams of it. 

Despite being set nearly eighty years ago, and written fifty-three years ago, much of our society today is reflected on the pages of “The Bluest Eye.” We view eurocentric beauty as the standard, and beauty seems to be the solution to all of our problems. Although society is currently battling such beliefs, they undeniably exist and influence how we treat each other and how we treat ourselves. 

I flew through these pages, fully immersed in “The Bluest Eye”: following closely behind Pecola, Claudia, and Freida. And while racism is central to the story, it is not the whole story. There is more to the novel than that: this story is about family and love and relationships with each other and oneself. “The Bluest Eye” is a thought-provoking and beautiful novel that will make you think about how you view beauty and the way in which you consider yourself to be beautiful.

I fully recommend you read “The Bluest Eye,” and support local bookstores if you can!

Mariana Bastias

CU Boulder '25

Mariana Bastías is the Director of Outreach for Her Campus CU Boulder, where she is in charge of coordinating volunteer and social events as well as connecting with local businesses for partnerships. Her articles will range from profiles to movie and book reviews to current events to her own experiences. Mariana is double majoring in Creative Writing and Psychology, with a minor in Business, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the current manager of Brewing Market Coffee & Tea Emporium on Pearl St. Mall. As an aspiring novelist and poet, she has published a short story, Midnight Adventures, in Meridian Creative Arts Journal in their 50th edition, and she is currently working on a novella for her honors thesis. Whenever she can, Mariana likes to curl up with a book and a cup of tea and read the afternoon away. Her favorite novel is “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, and she always pairs it with a cup of Earl Gray. Mariana is also an avid coffee drinker; as a professional and at-home barista, she’ll experiment with flavors and roasts. As a writer, Mariana loves filling notebooks with stories, poems, and observations of the world around her, as well as ideas for future articles.