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When an individual desire to achieve something, they’re willing to go to extreme measures to accomplish their goal”- Chanté Blake. In doing so, trials and tribulations may come aboard however, that doesn’t hinder them from executing their initial plans. Your strive to accomplish something can come from many sources, for example, an influence from others or your passion to accomplish something based off of how others deem something to be. In the literature pieces ‘The Bluest Eye’ by Toni Morrison, ‘Mirror image’ by Lina Coakly and the play ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare, adequately portrays the major idea “Appearance vs. Reality” plays a vital role as the dominant characters within each novel, Pecola Breedlove, Alice, and Macbeth have a desire to achieve something greater than their control.

As Saint Augustine once said, “Being beautiful has nothing to do with physical appearance. It’s your character as a person, it’s how you make others feel about themselves”. Numerous individuals within our society, place an excessive amount of value on their physical appearance. But when you value your appearance too much, it can often turn into making a person feel isolated or insecure in their own body. The examples from the story ‘The Bluest Eye’ by Toni Morrison and ‘Mirror Image’ by Lina Coakley, both portray a strong message of how society plays a vital role in the way a person standardized beauty. The examples of how a person’s appearance defines them to be ugly or pretty, how your surroundings can abuse your self-esteem and feel uncomfortable in your skin. These two stories help depict a significant message by using a different amount of characters as they effectively demonstrate the major question: “Does society set standards for a person’s appearance?”. To start with beauty, it’s not simply something to behold; it was something on could be. The concept of beauty is the quality by which something gives pleasure to someone directly through the intellect and independent of any ulterior considerations. People often have this image that you must look a certain way to be pretty or else you’re ugly, but that is not the case because everyone is beautiful in their way. ‘The Bluest Eye’ by Toni Morrison explores the different problems which occur during growing up black and female in a society that equates beauty with blue-eyed whiteness.

As discussed, Pecola believed her appearance was ugly and felt if she could have blue eyes and blond hair it would make her prettier, her desire derives from the idea of beauty that she has internalized by being blond-haired, blue-eyed throughout her life. “It occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes, those eyes that held the pictures, and knew the sights. If those eyes of hers were different” (Morrison pg, 46) as she believes blue eyes would change the way others see her, allowing her to transcend her horrible situation at home and in the community. Likewise, she thinks that blue eyes would give her the ability to perceive what she sees differently. She wishes to have blue eyes because that is what everyone considers beautiful. She thinks that people will treat her better if she was different or “beautiful”, leading Pecola to become the female she imagines to push her to go out of the will to get what she wants. Pecola goes to see the sophead from the local church, asking him to turn her eyes blue: “Help you how? Tell me. Don’t be frightened”; “My eyes”; “What about your eyes?”; “I want them blue”. In reality, a person can’t change their eye color unless they get surgery, but Pecola forgets the true meaning of reality due to the dedication she has to become the “beautiful” person she is striving to become.

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Similarly in the short story ‘Mirror Image’, a young girl got into a car accident and had to get a new brain. Having a brain transplant is a drastic change in a person’s life, the young girl felt uncomfortable and insecure in her body, the poor girl couldn’t look into a mirror, as Alice didn’t feel like herself because she wasn’t mentally and physically herself. Her parents prevented her from looking at herself, she had to accept herself but realized that she is “mentally” different. Alice stated “It’s ok, mom, maybe I’ll start looking like myself again. If I try hard enough. If I concentrate hard enough. Very slowly, over the years, my eyes will change color… my face… it might” (Leah 12). Changing your daughter’s physical appearance is way out of their control. You must be able to accept yourself to be happy because real beauty is not what’s on the outside, it comes from an internal source.

Having a desire to achieve something is like being in a dream, you’re able to think and believe what you want, but you cannot always control the direction it may go in. In the novel ‘The Bluest Eye’ by Toni Morrison and ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare, the major idea portrayed, “an unhealthy desire to achieve something ultimately leads to destruction” plays a vital role as two main characters Pecola Breedlove and Macbeth go to extreme measures desiring for something they believe they deserve. Pecola delusionally believes that her wishes came true by the way she converses with an imaginary friend asking her multiple questions about her “blue eyes” asking if she loved them if they were the bluest eyes and accusing her imaginary friend of being jealous of her eyes. In reality, she did not have blue eyes as she only imagined it. She has convinced herself to the point where she creates an illusion to be satisfied with herself. Pecola’s desperate strive to obtain white beauty leads to her destruction as her crazed obsession forces her into madness. Macbeth’s strive to obtain power and authority leads to his destructive decisions and ultimately to his death. After a supernatural prophecy dictates his future chain of command and the influence of his propagandizing wife, Lady Macbeth, his ambition to become king forces him to commit a treasonous act as he regicides allowing him to become king of Scotland. The witches also known as the supernatural force, professed this which causes Macbeth to believe that whatever they say will come true. When they professed his future and told him he would one day become king of Scotland, he decided to take a destructive route, which progressively led him to achieve his intended plan; giving power and authority. “On which I must fall, or else o’orleap, for in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires. The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see” (Act 1 Scene 4, 56-60) while talking to himself, Macbeth asks the stars that no light be shown meaning he doesn’t want it being revealed to anyone that he has secret desires to be king and what it would take to do so.

In conclusion, the measures people are willing to take to achieve something may not always result in the best outcome. “An unhealthy desire to achieve something ultimately leads to destruction” is prominent throughout the novels ‘The Bluest Eye’ by Toni Morrison and famous play ‘Macbeth’ by William Shakespeare as the dominant characters Pecola and Macbeth’s desires destroyed their lives. As Elen DeGeneres once said “ true beauty is not related to what color your hair is or what color your eyes are. True beauty is about who you are as a human being, your principles, your moral compass”. These two stories effectively use characters Pecola and Alice to show society believes a person’s appearance describes them to be ugly or beautiful, how the people you choose to be around abuses your self-esteem leading you to feel uncomfortable in your skin. The major question can be justified as people may get obsessed with how their appearance looks, they forget the real meaning of beauty.

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