I have included one question on Hamlet and one question on The
| A brief comment about these answers:
Neither student retells the action (paraphrasing the action is unacceptable--you must interpret or analyze the action). Each student interprets or explains the significance of the action in the opening paragraph of the answer. Each explains the meaning of the Hamlet's action and connects the discussion to larger issues--e.g., Hamlet's madness or his ability to act. The essays show that the students have thought about the work and understand it. Also, both of the students write clear, well-organized, coherent essays with no serious or basic errors in them. Ideas proceed logically and are connected by transition.
Discuss the influence of whites/white society on individual blacks and/or the black community in The Bluest Eye.
In The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison we see that the influence of the white society on individual blacks is very detrimental to them and to the black community as a whole. In looking at these effects we can look at the characters of Pecola, Breedlove, Pauline Breedlove, Cholly Breedlove and Soaphead Church..
In terms of an overall effect on the black community, all of these characters as being part of that community look for ways to be accepted. Whether this acceptance is by the white or black community it is something which they feel will fulfill their lives. This was a negative effect on the community as a whole because it is not this acceptance that will fulfill their lives, because they never accept themselves.
For Pecola and Pauline, the way they see acceptance by others is beauty. For Pecola, this beauty translates into the blue eyes. As a result of the heritage of her mother and the community around her Pecola feels she is ugly. We know that she is not because as a baby her mother saw her hair as beautiful. Pecola's mother beating her, constant abuse by the community and the rape of her by her father which led to further community disapproval caused her to go insane because she was incapable of getting the acceptance she thought she needed. She thinks she has blue eyes which should be enough for her to accept herself in her mental state, but because of the further community alienation as a result of her pregnancy she now needs the bluest eyes.
Pecola's mother, Pauline, put the robe of ugliness onto Pecola as a result of her own need for acceptance. Pauline's idea of beauty comes from the movies. Pauline had an abnormality to overcome with her foot but simply pushes this on to her family when she comes to the realization that she can not be as beautiful as those in the movies. As for Pecola's blue eyes, this was an association of the white community's with beauty. Pauline's acceptance comes from the white family she works for. There she has a certain power that makes her feel the acceptance she needs. The acceptance comes in the form of a nickname, Polly, which seems a degradation from Pauline.
The differences of the white community can be seen in the episode where Pauline does not have a real feeling for alimony. Pauline is also two different people in the white and black communities. Her nice manner with the whites translates into becoming a martyr for her family. She becomes a strong church women who must deal with the sins of her husband, her children, and her community.
In Cholly Breedlove we can see that the influences of the white community made him a hard man who has trouble in expressing his emotions. Cholly's instrument to let out these emotions becomes his penis as his sex with Polly shows and the rape of Pecola. Cholly's attitudes are shaped by the absence of a father figure in his life and the episode with the white hunters. The absence of a father and his eventual running away made Cholly believe that the black man is not bound to anything. Freedom is the absence of everything including his ability to express emotion. The white hunters episode made Cholly humiliated, embarrassed and mad but during that episode he did not direct his anger to the whites but to the black girl whom he was with, an example of the white community's power to make blacks blame themselves. Cholly needs to be accepted by his family through love which he couldn't express.
Soaphead Church was a character who was a mix of both black and white backgrounds. His inability to be fully accepted into either community contributed to his aloneness and his hatred for physical love. It was the black community which was above but the white community which he was below.
So the above shows us that
influences of the white community on the black community caused harm
because they are two different communities when segregated as they
were. There should be no attempt to try to behave as the other group
for acceptance. [Grade: A-]
White society and its standards have a huge influence on blacks in the black community. This is seen clearly in Morrison's The Bluest Eye. The white ideal of what beauty is becomes the standard for what is beauty. This standard of beauty becomes incorporated into the black community and becomes a standard for blacks as well. Blacks, however, cannot achieve this ideal of the white skinned, blond haired, blue eyed beauty, and are therefore forced to feel inferior.
In The Bluest Eye movies had a big part in showing what beauty should be. Pauline would constantly go to the movies and see glamorous, white movie stars who were the ideal women. Pauline would dress herself up and try to look like Jean Harlow. However, since these movie stars were white, it was impossible for Pauline to achieve looking like them. When she broke her tooth she realized this. She began to think of herself as ugly. If these white movie stars were considered beautiful, then not looking like them would have to mean you were ugly. This idea of being ugly is a direct result of the standards of the white community being imposed on the black community.
The children were also exposed to this white ideal of beauty. Claudia would receive a white doll for Christmas that was considered as beautiful, even though she didn't think so. Pecola was probably influenced the most by this idea of beauty. She would admire the Shirley Temple cup and buy Mary Janes, both of which had a picture of a white girl with blond hair and blue eyes. Pecola wanted to be like them and realized she couldn't. She wanted blue eyes so she could be beautiful. This was impossible, however, and it caused her to believe she was ugly. She had no ugly features, but since she thought she was ugly she carried herself that way. This caused a projection of her ugliness to others who all thought she was ugly. She was only ugly, however, in that she did not look like the white model of beauty.
This idea of white beauty began to cause anger and hostility among the blacks. Claudia hated her doll and wanted to destroy it. Pecola also began to feel some anger. When she bought the Mary Janes, the storeowner could not see her as a person. When she left the store she was angry at this and once again projected her ugliness. The dandelions projected her ugliness. The dandelions she once thought were beautiful suddenly became weeds and were ugly. The idea of not being able to look like these beautiful white girls caused Pecola to hide behind her ugliness, which eventually led to her crazy state at the end. [Grade: A-]