The popularity of young Maureen Peal rocked the world of the protagonist in The Blues Eye by Toni Morrison. Claudia went through a rollercoaster of emotions when it came to Maureen’s story line. She went from extreme dislike for her, remorse for having felt that way, and then a sudden justification for her original dislike that then ramped up the hatred Claudia had for Maureen. Why did this one minor character have such a big effect on the story that she was later brought up again at the end of the book when Pecola Breedlove is having an imaginary conversation, when no other minor character seemed to have this effect? It’s all because Maureen Peal was considered popular by her peers. Our keyword essay defines popular as “indicating that a subject is a favorite, acceptable, and pleasing to numerous people”. This seems straightforward enough but you must take a minute to think about what characteristics are making Maureen popular amongst her peers. On page 62 of The Bluest Eye, Claudia lists a number of reasons why Maureen had found such favor amongst the school children. The majority of the things on this list had to do with her appearance and particularly her clothing. This reminded me of the song Popular from the musical Wicked. The lyrics of this song tell of the things one needs to be considered popular and unsurprisingly the majority are all about physical appearance. This continuity in the idea of what makes someone popular is no coincidence, it reflects the views of society that pretty = good and ugly = bad. This is a sad reality when things that really matter, like who you are as a person, should be the main deciding factor in if one is popular or not, but alas, that is not the case.