The Difference between Jealousy and Envy in the Bluest Eye

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Aug 18, 2023
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  2
Order Original Essay

How it works

In The Bluest Eye, the author Toni Morrison illustrates the difference between envy and jealousy. Morrison assumes jealousy is a feeling of resentment towards another person. Jealousy is felt when you resent another person because they have something you desire but don’t possess. This feeling often manifests as a desire for the object in question, or conversely, a wish that the person in possession lacks it. On the other hand, Morrison proposes that envy is characterized by self-hatred because you lack something.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

In my life, I often feel jealousy. However, I rarely experience the self-disgust that Morrison describes as envy.

To Maureen, jealousy is a desire to have something someone else has, which escalates into envy when she can no longer bear the feeling of desire. She sees jealousy as the first stage of envy, triggered by resentment towards a person in possession of something she lacks. Maureen posits that jealousy is “natural—a desire to have what someone else has” (Morrison, 74). She perceives this as a healthy and normal emotion. However, when Maureen starts feeling envious, she experiences “such intense disgust” towards herself, unnerved by these unfamiliar sentiments (Morrison, 74). According to Maureen, envy surfaces when resentment for another’s possession dissolves, and an individual becomes frustrated at their own inadequacy. She finds her burgeoning feelings of envy unsettling as they are new and unfamiliar to her.

My experience with jealousy echoes Maureen’s sentiments. I have felt intense jealousy over my classmates’ belongings. As advancements in technology lead to newer devices, people yearn for the latest and most coveted items. I have often felt envious of peers who bought superior devices. In response to these feelings, my instinctive reaction was to acquire the same item. But in reality, owning every gadget as my friends do is unrealistic, making it essential to accept that others might possess more or superior belongings. Nonetheless, their possessions haven’t evoked negative sentiments in me. At Francis Parker, it is usually not only one person who owns the most desired item. Therefore, my envy isn’t directed at the individual but at the object they possess. Given that many individuals own these sought-after items, it is irrational to resent everyone who does.

Envy, a far more serious and potentially harmful emotion, often culminates in feelings of depression. I occasionally experience jealousy, the precursor to envy. The closest I have come to truly experiencing envy was during my younger years when learning to read. In lower school, my reading skills lagged behind my peers’. Consequently, I needed to consult tutors and counselors weekly to keep up. While most of my classmates progressed effortlessly, I struggled, making my sense of inadequacy profound. Yet, I didn’t resent them because they were meeting the teacher’s expectations and progressing as expected. Instead, I felt frustrated with myself for practicing extensively but not achieving the same results. Although I am not entirely envious because I don’t harbor self-loathing, I am dissatisfied with my reading proficiency.

In the book, Maureen is jealous of the appeal the other ladies have. She will do anything for these qualities. However, her jealousy turns into envy when she realizes that she cannot possess their qualities and must contend with what she has. The envy I feel is not as intense, yet I still find myself being jealous of others’ properties, I am envious of the ownership and not the person per se. I no longer feel jealous of others’ reading abilities because I don’t despise myself for it, despite not reading as well as most of my peers.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

The Difference Between Jealousy and Envy in The Bluest Eye. (2022, Dec 16). Retrieved from