On the 18th of December, Shaheen Patel presented Toni Morrison’s ‘The Bluest Eye’ as a part of the monthly Book Club hosted at Gyaan Adab. A book that deals with the internalized racism that has been fed to communities around the globe over the last few centuries, and the indoctrination to prescribe to a white standard of beauty, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is a landmark text.
After a brief introduction of the book, Mrs. Patel went on to disseminate the plot, outlining the cultural history of the United States of America. The novel itself takes place in Lorain, Ohio, a considerably black-populated region, and is set in the year 1941. This sets up the basis of the perceptions the protagonist holds on to; the desirability of a traditionally Caucasian standard of beauty and her own deviance from that standard. The book also serves as a critical comment on the acceptance of a Western alignment in most cultural spaces, due to its pan-global expansion as a metric to compare one’s self to.
Shaheen Patel’s poignant dissection of the book allowed even those who have not read the book yet to understand and analyse its content, and creates many pockets of conversation among attendees once the discussion was concluded; serving us all some food for thought.