Bluest Eye And Giovanni's Room Essay

2696 words - 11 pages

Bluest Eye and Giovanni's Room


There are several novels written by two of the worlds most critically acclaimed literary writers of the 20th century James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. But I would like to focus on just two of their works, James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. In these novels in some way the authors suggest a theme of how the past is rooted in the present. Now each of these authors shows this in a different way. This is because of the contrast in their story outline and the structures of their novels. Yet they both seem to suggest that if the past is not clear then the present or the future can not be clear as well. One can not run from ones past, it will only dictate ones future.
I would like to start with James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room. From the very beginning of the novel we see this man standing in the window of his apartment building in France. He begins to reminisce about the things that he had done and the past that had caused his present reality. From this very moment the author begins to suggest to us that something about this man's past is relevant to the plot or story about to be told. The man, whose name is David, tells us about this person named Giovanni, and how he was about to face the guillotine. David also tells us about how his fiancée Hella had left him. And how he told her that he loved her. He begins to go back in time to explain to us how he met and asked Hella to marry him, as well as to tell us that he lived with Giovanni. So what was this dilemma that Giovanni was about to face or had already faced. David dose not tell us at this point, instead he starts to tell us about this guy named Joey who was once his best friend, until that night. The night that he began to feel different for him. He says: I laughed and grabbed his head as I had done God knows how many
times before, when I was playing with him or when he had annoyed
me.But this time when I touched him something happened in him and
in me which made this touch different from any touch either of us had
ever known. And he did not resist, as he usually did, but lay where I
had pulled him, against my chest. And I realized that my heart was
beating in an awful way and that Joey was trembling against me and
the light in the room was very bright and hot. I started to move and to
make some kind of joke but Joey mumbled something and I put my head
down to hear. Joey raised his head as I lowered mine and we kissed, as
it were, by accident.(Giovanni's room Pp. 13)

He goes on to explain how Joey and him slept together that night, how it made him feel, how frightened he really was. He also expresses to us the sham that it made he feel about his manhood. This would be one of the most rooted problem of his past that would hunt his future. And it was not like he could tell his father, for David's father was a man who had images of what manhood should be, especially for his son. David had no one to help him...

Find Another Essay On Bluest Eye and Giovanni's Room

Point of View in The Bluest Eye and Going to Meet the Man

1240 words - 5 pages The point of view used in The Bluest Eye and “Going to Meet the Man” evokes different emotions from similar actions. Both stories depict characters that exert aggressive sexual behavior to dominate. In “Going to Meet the Man,” the point of view elicits no compassion for Jesse, an aggressive oppressor. Conversely, the reader feels sympathy for Cholly in The Bluest Eye because the point of view portrays him as an unfortunate soul unable to control

Self-Hatred and the Aesthetics of Beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

1787 words - 7 pages Self-Hatred and the Aesthetics of Beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Topic: Discuss the issues of self-hatred and the aesthetics of beauty in The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. What role do they play in the novel and how do they relate to its theme? Self-hatred leads to self-destruction… Self-hatred is something that can thoroughly destroy an individual. As it was fictitiously evidenced in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, it

Childhood Presented in To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee and The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

3257 words - 13 pages Pecola Breedlove, the central characters in The Bluest Eye, live somewhat differently. Claudia describes their home: "Our house is old, cold, and green. At night a kerosene lamp lights one large room. The others are braced in darkness, peopled by roaches and mice." (The Bluest Eye, P.5) Morrison impresses on the reader from the outset how the children were affected by their surroundings. She introduces a dark, almost menacing tone that

Responsibility of the Artist in The Bluest Eye, Faith in a Tree, and Conversion of the Jews

1543 words - 6 pages Responsibility of the Artist in The Bluest Eye, Faith in a Tree, and Conversion of the Jews Toni Morrison, in her work, Rootedness: The Ancestor as Foundation, voices her opinion about the responsibility of the artist and proclaims that art should be political. I would like to examine Grace Paley and Phillip Roth's short stories and Toni Morrison's novel, The Bluest Eye. Each of these works can be considered political, and I believe they

How Morrison's, The Bluest Eye, Relates to Modern Education: Childhood Trauma and the Need for Intervention in the Classroom

2551 words - 10 pages because the ease of information to world wide traumatic events and individual events, trauma is the culprit and is holding back our students causing them to suffer academically and decrease the IQ of our students. While issues of intervention in classrooms and trauma may seem unwanted, Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and much of the critical theory related suggests a deeper link, it shows us that intervention is needed in the classroom setting. The

A Criticism of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye

2492 words - 10 pages The black way has never been an easy way. By the constructions of society, by its demand that there be an innate, horribly valid separation between the black man and the white man– the black way has never been right, nor fluid, nor gorgeous, nor terribly affectionate. Not by any literary standard. Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye has been no exception. This has been her message; and again, as if to suggest a chant, the black way has never been a

Writing Techniques Used in The Bluest Eye

2844 words - 11 pages childhood who had prayed to have blue eyes. The story was well received by the group. Toni put it away thinking that she was done with it. When her sons where asleep, she started writing. She dusted off the story in which she had written for discussion in her writers group and decided to make it into a novel. She drew on her memories as a child and expanded on them with her imagination so the characters developed a life of their own. The Bluest Eye was

The Buest Eye

1285 words - 5 pages The Bluest Eye is one of the most famous and elegant works by Toni Morrison. The novel shows how women are affected by society through the eyes of an African American family during the Great Depression. The novel is being researched because many connections can be made in today’s society. In the novel The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, it provides a detailed interpretation of how the “perfect White American” is the current beauty standard

Review of The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

1440 words - 6 pages Review of The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison Love is an amazing emotion. A life without love is a life not worth living. As a child, one has thirsts for love and approval that can only be quenched by influential adults and peers. If love is not given during childhood, it will forever taint the individual's life. Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye magnificently captures the mind of mature readers and both genders in its

Giovanni's Room

1109 words - 4 pages 1. The title of the book is Giovanni's room and the author is James Baldwin.2a. It was first published in 1957 by Michael Joseph Ltd.2b. I've read the edition that was published in 1984 by Black Swan.3a. Giovanni's room is the room in which David and Giovanni lived for some time.3b. David has a lot of memories attached to that room: they used to tell each other a lot of things there, they made love their; they really lived in that small room

Helicopter Parents and Ignorant Actions

1835 words - 8 pages Toni Morrison, author of The Bluest Eye and Nobel Prize winner, is well-respected for the literature she writes. This type of literature is called Recovery Literature, which is defined as an effort on the part of contemporary writers who, in the wake of cultural fragmentation brought on by integration, seek to recall aspects of the past African American culture when they were contained in small cohesive communities tied closely to the land of

Similar Essays

The Bluest Eye And A Perfect Society

842 words - 4 pages In the novel The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, she exposes the suffering produced by the problems caused by gender and race oppression through the experiences of African-American children. During the 1940’s, the United States had composed an identity through mass media with books such as “Dick and Jane”, and movies like “Sherley Temple.” These media sources provided a society based on national innocence. In the novel, Morrison relates to and

Racism And Sexism In The Bluest Eye

1783 words - 7 pages Toni Morrison, the author of The Bluest Eye, centers her novel around two things: beauty and wealth in their relation to race and a brutal rape of a young girl by her father. Morrison explores and exposes these themes in relation to the underlying factors of black society: racism and sexism. Every character has a problem to deal with and it involves racism and/or sexism. Whether the characters are the victim or the aggressor, they can do nothing

Self And Identity In The Color Purple And The Bluest Eye

2743 words - 11 pages In African-American texts, blacks are seen as struggling with the patriarchal worlds they live in order to achieve a sense of Self and Identity. The texts I have chosen illustrate the hazards of Western religion, Rape, Patriarchal Dominance and Colonial notions of white supremacy; an intend to show how the protagonists of Alice Walker's The Color Purple as well as Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, cope with or crumble due to these issues in their

A Hunger For Love And Respect In Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

3474 words - 14 pages takes her in. The difference between the Macteer house and the White house where pecola’s mother works is not the evaluation between African-American and White only but between destitution and affluence also. “Our house is old, cold, and green. At night a kerosene lamp lights one large room.”(The Bluest Eye 5) CONCLUSION Thus Pecola being a black undergoes all the humiliation and insult. Cholly’s rapes to his own daughter push