Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Analyzing Conflict

Desire meets Obstruction
Conflict stems when the will of an individual opposes the will of another or in some cases, the will of others. Therefore, identify a conflict illustrated by Toni Morrison in the Bluest Eye. Additionally, share how you believe these conflicts affect the plot.

As you write your essay, remember the following:

Level 4-5 Analysis:
Man vs. Man; Man vs. Nature;
Man vs. Society; Man vs. Self; and
Man vs. Supernatural

Level 6-9 Analysis:
Author's reason and purpose for developing this particular conflict...
How the author reveals the conflict...
The underlying truth revealed through the conflict...
Discussion and critique of all consequences (good or bad)...


  1. Someone asked me to clarify the following statement in the Conflict writing prompt:

    ...analyze the conflict and discuss the moral and ethical implications for both the character and the society.

    This is specifically asking you to analyze both your chosen character's moral and ethical stance and the society from which they live. In essence, you should make inferences as to why this character has developed their own core values and attempt to explain why the society, in which this character lives, has agreed to adhere and enforce their core values and beliefs. Hope this helps.

  2. Pecola desires to be seen as beautiful and the conflict sprouts when society refuses to accept or recognize any of her characteristics as beautiful. I believe this conflict exposes how American society is cruelly superficial.

  3. @Karen
    Well, I am interested to see and hear your thoughts. why do you feel that Morrison chose to expose this particular conflict and in this manner?

  4. The conflict would be an individual's want for beauty and social status that makes us want to dominate whoever we deem inferior. We can relate to Pecola because it is natural to yearn to be beautiful and socially accepted, however we can also relate to the fact that we have had our own “Pecola” and used them to feel better about ourselves. In the novel, Claudia states that “she gave them her beauty” because they “were so beautiful when [they] stood astride her ugliness” (Morrison 205). We subconsciously compare ourselves to others and it can be said that the media has influences us. In the novel there is also social issues that create three classes: white people, color people and black people. Geraldine and Pauline are prime examples, because both yearn to fit into a white society and it is portrayed in Geraldine strictness on morals and values and Pauline's want to be accepted by women by Northern women that she yearns money to buy clothes and make-up that she did not truly want. Pecola's desire to have blue eyes is what causes her own demise because she did not learn to love herself, however Pauline's bitterness to be socially accepted by Northern colored women is what cause her to ignore her own child cause she is “ugly”. However instead both Pauline and Cholly fail to teach Pecola how to love herself, because Cholly is being a drunk and Pauline is giving her love to a little white girl. We forget that Pecola is just a child that a individual must learn to make sure to make vulnerable people (like Pecola) feel welcome, accepted and untainted by media/society values. Our obsession for beauty and acceptance blind us to learn how befriend the right people and bully the outcasts. A child's behavior can be gained by their parents, media, or society and the can subconsciously gain the need to dominate others in order to feel superior because they are still young and are dominated by their parent's beliefs and how people judge them as. So it can be said that if we grew up with our own Pecola how many will defend her and sacrifice losing our social status, instead many become followers of one another and while it may be simple teasing we could easily destroy them.
    *Sorry if my thoughts are all over the place

  5. Maybe because she wants her readers to reflect on how they themselves embody society's superficiality and how they may have caused similar harm to the Pecolas of modern day. Possibly by reflecting, morrison wants her readers to change?

  6. Throughout the novel, Pecola faces an internal conflict within herself. Her conflict consists of being different from what she embodies, she wishes for blond hair and blue eyes. Definitely, there are many factors that contributte to Pecola's desire such as the ability of fitting within society and the confidence of being “pretty”. This conflict has an affect on the plot because through Pecola, the readers are able to relate and understand what this character goes through. Also, by relating to Pecola the readers are able to make conclusions about society and most importantly the time period in which the novel takes place. After all, I think that this plays a significant role because this can relate to why certain characters act and do what they do throughout this novel.

  7. @ WOW! Torres. Great thinking! Please print your post and share these ideas in class. I like that you mention both Pauline and Geraldine. These two women both reflect self hatred and have, in some ways, taught this hatred to their children.
    @Karen Bingo! We as a society seem to place value on superficial "things" (i.e. beauty, money, status, etc.). Please ask this question in class to solicit your peers' thoughts.
    @Jazmine I like that you mentioned we are able to empathize with Pecola. Do you think that the novel would be more affective from her perspective?