The Bluest Eye: Continue the Conversation

Self-Care Corner

As you process the difficult themes of The Bluest Eye, we invite you to partake in these care resources, curated to address wounds both deep and small, whether ancestral or rooted in here and now. With that in mind, use these resources to make space for yourself. Release what is too heavy and take with you the energy you need.

Enjoy sung affirmations from Beautiful Chorus

Listen to the 
Finding Our Way podcast

Explore writing in 
Black Imagination

Conversation Starters

Thank you for experiencing The Bluest Eye at Theater Alliance. We hope you find these questions enriching as you talk about the production with your fellow theater-goers. 

  • The Bluest Eye is the first novel in Toni Morrison’s canon and was celebrated for its starkly honest storytelling with Black characters at the center. Whether this story was new or familiar to you, what did it feel like to see Morrison’s words living and breathing onstage? Did you find anything surprising about how the characters were depicted?
  • Claudia begins her audience address by talking about how the marigolds that she and Frieda planted to save Pecola’s baby never grew. What feelings are conjured in your mind by this metaphor? Why do you think she chose to start the story this way?
  • Frieda and Claudia describe the Breedlove family as ugly, but say that Cholly’s ugliness comes from his behavior, while Pecola and Mrs. Breedlove “put it on, as if it did not belong to them.” How did this description of ugliness affect how you experienced each character’s story? What does it mean to get to the root of ugliness in a person? 
  • When Pecola first talks about the dandelion on her walk to the store, she describes its beauty even though she knows others find it ugly. However, later in the play she calls the dandelion an ugly weed. What ordinary objects do you find beauty in that others don’t? Have you ever changed your mind about something you treasured once?
  • Pecola and Claudia have opposite reactions to the whiteness that invades their childhood. Pecola idolizes Shirley Temple and obsesses over blue eyes while Claudia dismembers her white baby doll. Did you identify with the sentiments from Pecola or Claudia? Looking back, how do you feel about the icons that shaped your childhood?
  • When Pecola pleads with neighborhood spiritual advisor Soaphead for blue eyes, he grants her wish, but also uses her for his own gain — having her poison the dog he hates. How did you feel about Soaphead’s choice? 
  • Our last image of Pecola is after her mind fractures and her community becomes bored of her. What would it mean to reinvest in the members of your own community that others have discounted?
  • At the end of Toni Morrison’s novel, she writes: “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.” As you ponder this story, how does it begin to affect the way you see love in your own life?

Media Hub: Articles, Books, Films, and More

"Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am"
"The Exhibit That Reveals Toni Morrison's Obsessions"
"Toni Morrison and the Ghosts in the House"