''The Bluest Eye'' is a 1970 novel by Creator/ToniMorrison that explores the relationship between beauty and race. The story is about a year in the life of Pecola, a young black girl in Lorain, Ohio. It takes place against the backdrop of America's Midwest as well as in the years following the Great Depression. Realizing that darker-skinned black people are treated worse than lighter-skinned black people, who more closely fit Caucasian standards of beauty, Pecola comes to believe that if she had blue eyes, she would escape race-based oppression.
!!Provides examples of:
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Deconstructed. Most of the characters subscribe to this belief, which is extremely damaging to those who are unlucky enough to be labelled "ugly," especially since they're all being judged using Caucasian standards of beauty.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The Breedloves.
* BreakTheCutie: Pecola.
* BringMyBrownPants: As shown in a flashback, Cholly has this reaction when he meets his father for the first time and is none-to-kindly rebuked.
* ButNotTooBlack: Many of the characters subscribe to this, treating mixed-race people more humanely than "blacker" people.
* ButtMonkey: If something humiliating and depressing can happen to Pecola, it will.
* CrapsackWorld: especially if you're black.
* DrivenToMadness: [[spoiler: Pecola]]
* ForegoneConclusion: The narrator spoils the DownerEnding on the third page of the novel.
* HairOfGoldHeartOfGold: Deconstructed. Both black and white characters alike tend to privilege blonde-haired children above the dark-haired protagonists, which is a source of great ire and confusion for Claudia.
* InnocentInaccurate: Whenever Claudia narrates.
* KidsAreCruel: Junior, and the gang of boys who bully Pecola.
* MeaningfulName: Considering what happens to her, Pecola's family name is the cruelly ironic ''Breedlove''.
* ParentalAbandonment: Cholly's parents both abandoned him, and he ended up being raised by his great-aunt.
* ParentalIncest: Cholly rapes his daughter, Pecola.
* PhonyPsychic: Soaphead Church, who purports to be a "Reader, Advisor, and Intepreter of Dreams"
* ThePowerOfLove: Subverted.
** Claudia's closing narration observes that "love is never any better than the lover," so violent/screwed-up/weak/wicked people will love in violent/screwed-up/weak/wicked ways.
* ShoutOut: To ShirleyTemple and Raggedy Ann and Andy. Also, Vulcans are brought up. Presumably, not [[Franchise/StarTrek THOSE]] Vulcans, though.
* StartOfDarkness: Several chapters are devoted to the backstory of Cholly and Mrs. Breedlove, showing how they got to be so screwed up.
* TakeThat: To the [[Literature/DickAndJane Dick and Jane children's books]]. It indicates how flawed the Breedlove family really are.
* ThroughTheEyesOfMadness: The chapter that [[spoiler: Pecola]] narrates.
* TragicDream: Pecola's dream of having blue eyes.