Loyola University Maryland

First-Year Programs

Common Text

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All members of the Class of 2018 will join in reading Toni Morrison’s first novel, The Bluest Eye. The Bluest Eye follows the story of Pecola Breedlove, an 11 year black girl growing up in 1940s Lorain, Ohio, a town divided by race and class. Mocked by other children for her dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes, Pecola wishes for blond hair and blue eyes – for her, signs of beauty and normalcy – that will help her find a place in the world. 

Loyola faculty members, administrators and students chose this book largely because of the powerful questions it raises about humanity. Who defines beauty? How does the desire to conform shape us? How do we face adversity and otherwise engage with the world around us?

Over forty years since it was first released, The Bluest Eye offers the opportunity for rich and important discussions of race, class, and gender. The novel is also beautifully written and is widely considered a masterful work of American fiction. 

The Bluest Eye promises an introduction to the depth of thought, imagination, and challenge you can expect from your time at Loyola. We look forward to reading along with you and entering into a conversation that enlightens and enriches your experience.

Quick Links: 

Common Text Study Guide

Common Text Essay Contest (Sponsored by the Dean of First-Year Students) - More information will be available in June 2014

2014-2015 Common Text Events & Activities

Common Text Committee Information

Suggest a Book for 2015 Common Text Consideration 

Past Common Texts at Loyola University Maryland