Excerpts from Essay

comparing To Pimp A Butterfly & The Bluest Eye

by Joan Marie Tubungbanua


“Both The Bluest Eye and To Pimp a Butterfly express the African-American struggle to adhere to white standards…”  (thesis)


“In the lyrics to “For Sale” Lamar states, “these rappers I came after when they was boring / Lucy gone fill your pockets / Lucy gone move your mama out of Compton / Inside the gigantic mansion…” The lyrics show Kendrick talking to the devil…Both characters [Pecola Breedlove and Kendrick’s fictional personas] are creating little voices in their heads because they want to achieve their dreams. Dreams that are both created and crushed by society. They both go through so much that they’re starting to rip apart.”


“In the lyrics to “For Sale (Interlude)” [a woman’s voice] states, “I shouldn’t be [messing] with you anyway, I need a baller...” This shows that the lady in the relationship treats the guy as if he was irrelevant because he doesn’t have money. These lines demonstrate the belittling of an African-American man’s character. This couple is a metaphor for how U.S. society treats an African-American male. The condescending woman is supposed to represent American society.”


“[B]oth The Bluest Eye (1970) and To Pimp a Butterfly (2015) exhibit the insanity and chaos African-Americans go through in trying to be a different person…[When] Pecola’s dream of having blue eyes was “granted”, it made her insane instead of pretty.”