Strategic Madness: Critiquing Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye from the perspectives of Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s The Madwoman in the Attic
Ms. Sharifa Akter
Abstract: To deconstruct the cultural perversion of the African-American ethnicity, Toni Morrison deploys “madness” as grand metaphor in The Bluest Eye. The “mad-self” metaphorically liberates the hidden oppressed self to be expressed which can be explained as a resistance. In comparison to black male characters in The Bluest Eye, the ideologically problematic stereotyping of female characters ‘triple nonentities – that is, “being black,”“being woman,” and “being mad” will be criticized in this study. Toni Morrison’s strategy in using madness to argue if and how female madness questions or strengthens patriarchal and racial representational politics is also examined. In The Madwoman in the Attic, Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar imply that a woman writer must examine, assimilate, and transcend the images of male authors generated for her. Women must deconstruct the aesthetic ideal that patriarchy has trapped them in art. From this perspective, despite the use of madness as a liberating agent,“madness” in The Bluest Eye appears to be an extension of the female characters’ marginality, patriarchal domination, intra-racial status, and being the “other” among the others.
Keywords: Patriarchy, racism, madness, stereotype
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Published in 2015