The Bluest Eye and Moby Dick

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.

Moby Dick, 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 nobody’s business.

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 absolutely incredible.

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.