Reader Response Theory Has My Back

I’m currently doing a paper on Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye which is probably a bad idea because I flippin’ love this book.  I have also found out that a lot of people flippin’ hate this book, to which I say “pish posh” and go on about my day.

Here is a little nugget of brilliance:

“Love is never any better than the lover.  Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe.  There is no gift for the beloved.  The lover alone possesses his gift of love.  The loved one is shorn, neutralized, frozen in the glare of the lover’s inward eye.”

While at first this line gave me a weighty sadness which is most likely the intention…cough checkoutthewordchoiceinthelastline cough.  But the more I look at, the more I see a weird optimism.  It is not Love that is the problem, it is the lover…something the ‘beloved’ can change and also something the lover, if he/she is strong enough, can change.

The Bluest Eye is constantly demanding the reader to look for faults in its characters and its world.  Maybe this helps to point out that the narrator herself is not perfect?  Or maybe I have been looking at this line too long and have been applying my own delicious optimism to it!

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Published in: on March 3, 2010 at 12:35 am  Leave a Comment  

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