Friday, August 14, 2020

Praying for transformation in Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" and "Sula"

In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Pecola Breedlove, who knows that everyone thinks she is ugly, wishes for one change that she thinks would transform her appearance: "[...] if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different. [...] Each night, without fail, she prayed for blue eyes." This desire for miraculous transformation brought about by prayer reappears with Nel Wright early in Morrison's Sula: "Oh, Jesus, make me wonderful." Unlike Pecola, who imagines that she is transformed to escape the trauma of incestuous pregnancy, Nel is later "made wonderful" – not by Jesus, but by the transformative effect of her friendship with Sula Peace. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 14 August)

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