Dualistic Relationship Between Concept of Jealousy and Envy in The Bluest Eyes
In The Bluest Eye, the author Toni Morrison illustrates the difference between jealousy and envy. Morrison thinks jealousy is a feeling of hatred of another. Jealousy is felt when you feel hatred towards someone else because they have something you want and do not have. The feeling makes one either desire it, or wish that the one obtaining it, lacks it.On the other hand, Morrison thinks envy is a feeling of self hatred because of something you do not have. In my life, I often feel jealously but rarely feel the self hatred that Morrison defines as envy.
To Maureen, jealousy is a desire to have something another has, while envy is what her jealousy escalated to when she couldn’t stand it anymore. Jealousy is the first level of envy. One can be upset when someone possesses something that individual does not have. The individual is frustrated with the possessor. Maureen thinks jealousy is “natural- a desire to have what someone else had” (Morrison, 74). Maureen felt that this was a healthy and normal feeling. When Maureen felt envious, she had “such intense hatred” for herself and was afraid of the new feelings(Morrison, 74).The feeling of envy is often felt when one is no longer upset with another’s possessions but upset with themselves.Maureen has envious feelings and is scared of the feeling because it is new and she has not felt it before.
My experience with jealousy is similar to Maureen’s. I have been very jealous of my classmates’ possessions. As new technologies are created and new devices are created, people want the best and purchase it. I have been jealous of peers of mine that purchase new equipment that can do more than mine can. After having these feelings, my natural instinct is to try and get it too. In reality, I cannot get every piece of equipment each of my friends has, so I need to cope with the fact that some people have more or better possessions than I do. I have not had a negative feeling towards them because of their possessions. At Francis Parker, more than one person normally has the popular possession. I am not jealous of the person, but rather, the object they possess. Since so many people have these things, it is irrational to get upset with everyone for having them.
Envy is a feeling that is more serious and can be dangerous. It is normal for me to occasionally feel jealous, although envy normally leads to depression. The closest I have felt to envy is when I was younger and learning to read. In lower school, I was a much slower reader than my peers. To help me keep up, I worked with tutors and therapists every week. Most of my friends at school were progressing without the extra help while I was struggling. I felt like I was spending a lot more time practicing but my reading speed and comprehension was worse. I was not upset with my peers because they were doing what the teacher wanted and were all progressing. I felt upset with myself because I spent a lot more time practicing and didn’t see the same results. I don’t think I was fully envious because I don’t feel self hatred but I am unhappy with my reading level.
In the book, Maureen is jealous of the beauty the other girls have. She will do anything for these qualities. Then, her jealousy turns into envy when she realizes that she cannot have their qualities and must live with what she has. The envy I feel is not as intense, but I still am jealous of others’ possessions, although I am jealous of the possession and not the person. I am not envious of others reading abilities anymore because I don’t hate myself for it, despite not reading as well as most of my peers.
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