Date of Project
College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Conor Picken
Dr. Pam Cartor
There are many points of sameness between Alice Walker's The Color Purple and Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. Both novels occur in the mid-20th century and focus on protagonists within the same race, gender, and relative class. Of all the similarities between the texts, the most influential is the trauma, sexual and otherwise, shared between Pecola Breedlove and Celie. Most notably, both characters experience incestuous rape resulting in pregnancy shortly after their first menstruation. Despite their numerous shared events and attributes, what occurs after their sexual trauma differs drastically for each character. At the end of The Color Purple, Celie's life is full of love and fulfillment. At the end of The Bluest Eye, Pecola is left digging through trash, speaking to herself about the blue eyes only she can see. The Color Purple and The Bluest Eye tell the tale of two people who vary drastically in their ability to cope with incestuous childhood sexual assault. When paired, Morrison’s and Walker’s works provide a commentary on how contrasting socioeconomic structures impact the characters’ traumatic experiences and coping processes.
Doll, Andrea, "Reading the Traumatic Moment: The Role of Socioeconomic Systems in The Color Purple and The Bluest Eye" (2022). Undergraduate Theses. 95.
Available for download on Wednesday, January 25, 2023
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