Death in Literature

Examines the inevitability of death in the “Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison and “The Voyage Out” by Virginia Woolf.

This paper examines the similarities between Virginia Woolf?s main character, Rachel, in “The Voyage Out”, and Toni Morrison’s Pecola, in her work, The Bluest Eye. The paper shows that, despite their differences in time, location, culture, and circumstance, the characters in the two novels share a common fate based on a common cause. Both characters begin life in unfortunate circumstances that foreshadow the inevitable doom that results from their respective positions in life.
Of course, the final straw in the inevitable destruction of Pecola is her rape by her father. In this event, the last shred of potential, and the last shred of innocent hope in the possibility of loving herself, or experiencing love from others, is finally ripped away. The reader is left with the horrible fulfillment of the symbolic whores upstairs. We see that, indeed, Pecola has nowhere to grow up to but abuse and ruin. Now, finally destroyed, she loses all sense of reality the potential symbolized in her menstruation scene is dashed and we see that there is no hope for her to be loved. Even in the most important father-child sense, the world of reality has nothing to offer her.