Collective Trauma: Healing and Reconciliation in Toni Morrison`s The Bluest Eye

Document Type : Original Article


Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


As an outstanding African-American author who has got fame for her tragic novel, Toni Morrison is well-known for her depiction of the black's traumatic experiences. She portrays the black community who had suffered as the result of being slaves, therefore being conditioned by their past, now faced with the after-affect of their traumatic suffering under white dominance. This black community has to bear the heavy burden of rejection, oppression, racism, and white dominance, so they are burdened with a wounded psyche and body that causes pain which constantly reminds them of their gloomy past. Morrison`s major novel, The Bluest Eye focuses on traumatic events of the black community; this novel represents the communal and personal trauma of the black community who struggle with pressures pressing them down from upward and inward. This essay aims to study the cultural trauma that the black characters are haunted by and the after-effect of this trauma; especially, the paper focuses mainly on the major character, Pecola, who is so young to be able to deal with her bitter past and unable to struggle with her suppressive society. It further intends to analyze how this trauma condition`s the characters` life and focuses on their difficulty dealing with the problems that weigh down their shoulders. Moreover, it aims to explore how communal trauma conditions subjective healing and the reconciliation in the communities within the work of trauma theory.