Persuasive Strategies towards Racial Appeal in Tony Morrison’s The Bluest Eye

Somayeh Shabani


Racism is the main theme in Toni Morisson’s The Bluest Eye. The little black girl’s long lasting yearn for blue eyes has been linked to the standards of America’s society in 1940’s which associated beauty to being white. Although instances of racism are rampant throughout the story, previous studies have not attempted to determine the type of persuasive strategies used by Toni Morrison to justify racism in the novel. In this paper, the author made use of Aristotle’s concepts of ethos, logos, and pathos, as 3 main dimensions of persuasion to determine the strategies used in the novel by the narrator-Claudia. Descriptive qualitative analysis of the novel’s text revealed that the author has made use of all these strategies. Pathos was observed in form of feelings of fear, anger and hatred. Logos was observed in the logic of the grown up society of America about being white and ethos was found among the black who themselves credited the whites over their own race.  


Racism, Persuasive Strategies, Ethos, Logos, Pathos

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