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Literature Review of Rhetorical Visions

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    In chapter three, Pecola’s mind is pre-occupied by the idea of whiteness. This idea was originally gained from her mother Pauline, who envisions everything good in the world to have blonde hair and blue eyes, therefore setting a white sense in her home. It is here in the white house that Pauline takes her identity Polly. She separates from herself physically, and enters into the world of the person, where she forgets her family, characterized by disorder and blackness (ugliness).  She sees the white world with vivid colors, while she sees the black world where she comes from, in plain ugly black and white. This dilemma is offset by the attention received from loving parent, but this is a love for support that was never present in Pecola’s life. This lack of parental causes Pecola to search painfully for self-esteem as a means of imposing order on the chaos of her world. The real damage for her family lies within the white world. Pecola does not have the family support to draw strength from and realize her own black identity. She sees no possibility of order or color. She even gets no positive input from her parents because they are trying to realize their own identities. It is with these eyes that she believes she will become beautiful and will be accepted by society. She is also is unaware that she is not a part of this world.

    Pauline and Cholly Breedlove fight incessantly and with terrifying ferocity, their battles always end up being physical and her brother Sammy runs away from home constantly. The Breedloves’ name is suggestive and ironic: love is exactly what the family lacks, and certainly they are unable to generate more of it, as suggested by the word “breed.” Instead, breed becomes an ominous reference to what Cholly ends up doing with his own daughter. Pauline is an unhappy woman who takes refuge in the wrathful and unforgiving aspects of Christianity. She lavishes her love on the white family for whom she works, while her own family lives in squalor. Cholly is an angry and irresponsible man, violent, cruel, and uncontrollable. All of the Breedloves are considered ugly. To get away from her parents and to pass the hours, Pecola spends a great deal of time with the whores who live upstairs. China, Poland, and Marie tolerate her presence without providing any deep love for the girl.

    When it comes to brief summary of the blue eye, with emphasis on Pecola’s journey, Toni Morrison shows that anger is healthy and that it is not something to be feared; those who are not able to get angry are the one who suffers the most.I do have to criticize Cholly, Claudia, Polly, Soaphead Church, the Mobile Girls and Pecola because they place their anger on themselves, their own age, their own race, their family, or even God, instead of being angry at those they should have been angry at: whites. Pecola Breedlove suffered the most because she was the result of having others anger dumped on her, and she herself was unable to get angry. When Geraldine yells at her to get out of her house, Pecola’s eyes were fixed on the pretty lady and her pretty house. Pecola does not stand up to Maureen  Peal when she made fun of her seeing her dad naked but instead lets Freida and Claudia fight for her. Instead of getting mad at Mr. Yacobowski for looking down on her, she directed her anger toward the dandelions she once thought were beautiful. Pecola was the sad product of having others’ anger placed on her. Their is sadness in the way the blacks were compelled to place their anger on their own families and on their blackness instead of on whites who causes their misery .Pecola’s mother, Polly Breedlove, also wrongly placed her anger on her family. Although the Mobile girls are black themselves, they were shut off by the whites because they did not belong, but shut themselves off from their own black race.

    The national gaze is experienced by Pecola when her father, attempts to burn their house down. She is sent by social workers to stay temporarily with the MacTeers. Claudia and Frieda befriend the girl, who is lonely, abused, and neglected. While staying with the MacTeers, she menstruates for the first time. Her first period, becomes an upsetting event it makes it possible for her to be impregnated later by her own father. Pecola Breedlove goes back to live with her family, and the aspects of her life is being depicted one section at a time. The Breedlove home is a converted storefront, cold and in disrepair.

    The national gaze has delivered a negative message about our identity, in the sense that we are all equal in the eyes of God. We look at the white people shutting off the black just because of their color but not what they offer them.  I also look at the life of Pecola’s mother Polly, who envisions everything good in the world to have blonde hair and blue eyes. It is in the white house that Pauline takes her identity as Polly. This shows that blacks don’t really appreciate their own race and color hence wanting to look like white. We need to conserve our own culture as blacks and should respect it.


    In the book by Wendy S. Hesford. Brenda Jo Brueggemann, the Rhetoric visions- is a sophisticated textbook that offers the right balance of visuals and striking prose that will likely resonate with contemporary audience. The thematic visual reader uses rhetoric as the frame for investigating the verbal and visual texts of new culture. It is designed to help tap into considerable rhetorical awareness that students already possess in order to help them put their insights into words. In the Blue eyes by Toni Morrison’s, she uses suppressed popular communicative forms – visual, oral, musical, and more, as an integral part of her uncovering discredited knowledge. However, Toni Morrison uses “blues aesthetics” not only to develop the thematic level of the story, to recreate the memory of the past African American generations, but also to build the structural pattern. One of the quote “They slipped in and out of the box of peeling gray, making no stir in the neighborhood, no sound in the labor force, and no wave in the mayor’s office. Each member of the family in his own cell of consciousness, each making his own patchwork quilt of reality–collecting fragments of experience here, pieces of information there. From the tiny impressions gleaned from one another, they created a sense of belonging and tried to make do with the way they found each other.” One inspiring quote from the Bluest eye is the “She was never able, after her education in the movies, to look at a face and not assign it some category in the scale of absolute beauty, and the scale was one she absorbed in full from the silver screen.”

    Works cited.

    Toni Morrison. The Blues Aesthetic in the bluest eye, (1994).

    Wendy S. Hesford and Brenda J. Brueggemann. Rhetoric Visions: Reading in a visual culture.


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