The Bluest Eye

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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The novel The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison, contains many passages that give specific significance to the novel itself. In the following pages, I will explain why the passage in which Soaphead Church (Elihue Micah Whitcmb) writes a letter to God, is important to this novel.

Unlike many of the other characters in this novel, Soaphead Church has some insight into the systems of power that has led him into the world he is in, and the world itself. We see in this letter that he recognizes he is partially responsible for what he has become; "We in this colony took as our own the most dramatic, and the most obvious, of our white masters, characteristics, which were, of course their worst" (2168). He continues, "We mistook violence for passion, indolence for leisure, and thought recklessness was freedom" (2168). However, when Soaphead writes this letter, he is trying to avoid responsibility and profess his anger with God.

He feels that God is being ignorant and not taking responsibility for his humans. He knows that he himself, nor any other one person could conquer the racism in Ohio. But couldn't God do something about it if he paid attention? He also tries to divert partial responsibility of his actions to God. Although Soaphead knows that it is he who malests little girls, he tells God that he is also partially responsible for these occurances. Is it not the Lord who put these little girls in his path? Isn't he some what responsible for what his humans do? Soaphead states, "The purpose of this letter is to familiarize you with facts which either have escaped your notice, or which you have chosen to ignore" (2167).

This specific passage, or letter, also informs us of Soaphead's past and how it relates to...



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