I have read both the Bluest Eye and Moby Dick this year, and while I did
say I’d review every book I read. Yes, I’m failing. Here’s the thing. I don’t
feel like I necessarily have anything pertinent to say. What could I really add
to the conversation? They’re literary masterpieces and I feel like everything
has been said. So I thought I’d do some very quick reviews/gush about them for
a paragraph or two.
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
So the Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is about a little girl named Pecola Breedlove.
She’s black, but really wants blue eyes, blond hair, so she will finally fit
in. She is raped by her father and her life slowly disintegrates. The novel
also tells the story of Pecola’s parents and their past.
I liked it. Liked is wrong. It was interesting, and heart breaking and
it was gorgeously written. According to Morrison herself she wanted to create a
distance between the reader and Pecola. And I felt that. It was hard to feel
any closeness to her, she was so distant and odd. The story was usually told
around her and by others.
I liked it for being gorgeously written. And because it made me think
about race, and obsession with white beauty standards. About victim blaming,
and about everything else that sucks. While I liked it, and I found it
fascinating and amazing, and it was gorgeous I had pretty much no hope left for
humanity, or anything else. It was so dark, and hopeless, and depressing.
I still want to read more Morrison. Her writing is gorgeous and her
command of the English language, oh wow.
or the Whale by Herman Melville
Moby Dick is about a Nantucket Whaling ship called the Pequod. The
captain, Ahab, lost his leg to a huge white whale, Moby Dick, and is now
crazily hunting the whale, to avenge his lost leg. The narrator is Ishmael, an
ordinary sailor on board. He is an extraordinary reader, and writes like
It was amazing. It was amazing. The writing was incredible. Every word
is expertly crafted and they’re beautifully put together.
There is a lot, A LOT, of whale anatomy, the history of whales, whales
in literature, whales in art, whale zoology, a lot. It was amazing. It was
There’s a delightful homoerotic, biracial relationship between Ishmael
and Queequeg, the harpooner. It might not have been meant that way, maybe I’m
too coloured by the time I live in and the culture I’m immersed in, but Ishmael
and Queequeg sleep in the same bed and wake up in each other’s arms, and
Ishmael refers to him as “my brave Queequeg,” so…
Anyway. It was gorgeous and amazing. And Ahab is incredible, and weird,
and creepy. Ishmael is awesome, and weird. It’s so good.