The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

coverThe Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison is a canonical text. It is set in Lorain, Ohio after the Great Depression and narrates  the story of Pecola Breedlove , who wants blue eyes to conform to the notion of white beauty. There are two narrators: Claudia MacTeer, whose family takes in Pecola as a foster child, and the third person narrator who traces the history of Pecola, and the lives of her parents when they were young, Pauline (Polly) and Charles (Cholly) Breedlove. The main issues among many are racism, perception of beauty, class conflicts, incest, seasons, and narration. vision, seeing,a nd being perceived are other motifs, including the standards of cleanliness and dirtiness. The text uses uses a Dick-and-Jane narrative throughout the novel.

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The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

the-kite-runneThe Kite Runner, the debut novel of Khaled Hosseni, narrates the story of Amir, a rich boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, and his unlikely friendship with Hassan, a Hazara son of the servant of the house, Ali.

Themes: class conflict; repetition of motif across generations- planting money under the mattress of Hassan and Wahid, Sohrab and Hassan pointing a slingshot at Aasef (254); home across spaces (Kabul, Afghanistan; Islamabad and Karachi, Pakistan; and San Francisco); male solidarity among the Afghan immigrants in SF; childbirth and adoption (Amir’s family in Afghanistan, surrogate father in Rahim Khan, Soraya’s infertility and the adoption of Hassan’s son, Sohrab); and family history and secrets (spoiler alert: Hassan is Amir’s half-brother, Soraya’s running away. her parents’ habits and manners (154)). Continue reading