Toni Morrison is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and the first black woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Her first novel, "The Bluest Eye," was published in 1970. In the book's foreword, Morrison explains her reasons for writing the novel. She states that the idea to write this novel came from her childhood friend who wished to have blue eyes. With this story, she wants to make a remark about the damage that internalized racism can do to a young girl.
The character Pecola is based on a real life girl whom Morrison met when she was 11 years old. She and the other little girl discussed whether or not there is a God. Morrison thought so, but the little girl disagreed. The reason was that the little black girl wanted blue eyes. This was a deep and heartfelt wish that she had not been granted for. Morrison recalls her reaction well. She had prayed for the blue eyes for two years. Morrison remembers looking at her. She saw something she hadn't seen before, an incredible beautiful face. Morrison couldn't understand why this young girl couldn't see her own beauty and why would she want the most obvious feature of a Caucasian face. When Morrison imagined her friend with the blue eyes that the latter wished for she was revolted. This memory of the little black girl who wanted blue eyes would stay with Morrison for the rest of her life. In 1965 she started writing 'The Bluest Eye." It was a peak of the "Black is beautiful"" movement. Morrison started to think about why the movement was needed. "Why, although reviled by others, could this beauty not be taken for granted within the community? Why did it need public articulation? " The characters in the bluest eye show exactly why such a movement was needed.
All of the characters value themselves according to their degree of blackness. Some of them even experience self-contempt and self-loathing because they are considered too black. Yet, others, like Geraldine, live their whole life keeping up appearances.