Misdirected Anger Depicted in The Bluest Eye In The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison shows that anger is healthy and that it is not something to be feared; those who are not able to get angry are the ones who suffer the most. She criticizes Cholly, Polly, Claudia, Soaphead Church, the Mobile Girls, and Pecola because these blacks in her story wrongly place their anger on themselves, their own race, their family, or even God, instead of being angry at those they should have been angry at: whites. Pecola Breedlove suffered the most because she was the result of having others' anger dumped on her, and she herself was unable to get angry. When Geraldine yells at her to get out of her house, Pecola's eyes were fixed on the …show more content…
This caused his to hate her for being in the situation with him and for realizing how powerless her really was. Also, Cholly felt that any misery his daughter suffered was his fault, and looking in to Pecola's loving eyes angered him because her wondered, "What could her do for her - ever? What give her? What say to her?"(161) Cholly's failures led him to hate those that he failed, most of all his family. Pecola's mother, Polly Breedlove, also wrongly placed her anger on her family. As a result of having a deformed foot, Polly had always had a feeling of unworthiness and separateness. With her own children, "sometimes I'd catch myself hollering at them and beating them, but I couldn't seem to stop"(124). She stopped taking care of her own children and her home and took care of a white family and their home. She found praise, love, and acceptance with the Fisher family, and it is for these reasons that she stayed with them. She had been deprived of such feelings from her family when growing up and in turn deprived her own family of these same feelings. Polly "held Cholly as a mode on sin and failure, she bore him like a crown of thorns, and her children like a cross"(126). Pecola's friend Claudia is angry at the beauty of whiteness and attempts to dismember white dolls to find where their beauty lies. There is a sarcastic tone in her voice when she spoke of having
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Pecola evaluated herself ugly, and wanted to have a pair of blue eyes so that every problem could be solved. Pecola was an African-American and lived in a family with problems. Her father ran away because of crime, her brother left because of their fighting parents, and was discriminated simply because she has dark-skin. Pecola is a passive person. She is almost destroyed because of her violent father, Cholly Breedlove, who raped her own daughter after drinking. Because of this, Pecola kept thinking about her goal- to reach the standard of beauty. However, she was never satisfied with it. Pecola believed once she become beautiful, fighting between her parents would no longer happen, her brother would come back, and her father would no long be a rapist. No problem would exist anymore.
As a child, he was not loved by his mother. She prefered her cat to her own son. Junior saw this at an early age and “spent some happy moments watching it suffer” (86). Junior locked Pecola in a room, becoming the perpetrator with the same turn of attitude as Cholly. When he saw that the cat liked Pecola, he threw the cat, killing it, because the thing his mother loved more than himself loved her. Pecola’s wish could be paralleled to the cat. It had blue eyes, and was loved dearly by someone, which could explain the attention she gave to the cat. Junior even said, “Gimme my cat! (90). Up to this point, he wanted nothing to do with the cat and even tortured it, but with it being the only connection to his mother, he called it his own. Pecola’s dream, or having the same attention as the cat, was killed when the cat was killed. Junior was not loved by his mother, only taken care of to live. She did not “allow her baby, Junior, to cry…[she] did not talk to him, coo to him, or indulge him in kissing bouts” (86). This unlove for her family caused Junior to be victimized, and then alter his ways, and become the perpetrator. Pecola is the victim in the rage of Junior, only because his mother did not love him. She wanted someone to be kind to her, and love her, but that was only met with
Pauline Breedlove, Pecola's mother, experiences racism within the black community when she moves to Lorain, Ohio. Being a dark-skinned black woman from the south, she does not understand why "northern colored folk was different... [and why they were] no better than whites for meanness" (117). She recognizes the hierarchy, or the "difference between colored people and niggers" within the black community, especially from the light-skinned women she encounters (87). One of these light-skinned black women is Geraldine, Junior's mother, who believes "colored people were neat and quiet; niggers were dirty and loud" (87). She even tells her son
“Again, the hatred mixed with tenderness. The hatred would not let him pick her up, the tenderness forced him to cover her.” [This quote represents the emotions that flood through Pecola’s father’s head after he rapes her. Prior to and during raping Pecola, Pecola’s father is enraged with many emotions. These emotions include anger, tenderness and l0ve towards Pecola. This is a significant quote in the novel because this is one of the few parts of where Pecola’s father, Cholly’s, character is shown. This quote reveals Cholly’s character because it shows that the events that happened in his
With some background knowledge on Pauline, the mother of Pecola, it’s easier to understand some of Pecola's core traits. There are parallelisms between Pecola and Pauline. They find their reality too harsh to deal with, so they become fixated on one thing that makes them happy, and they ignore everything else. Pecola's desire for blue eyes is more of an inheritance that she received from her mother. One of Pauline’s own obsessions was back when she was fascinated with the world of the big pictures. As long as they can believe in their fantasies, they're willing to sacrifice anything else.
In the third chapter of The Bluest Eye, entitled "Autumn", Toni Morrison focuses on Pecola's family, the Breedloves. Morrison goes in depth about the family dynamic of the Breedloves and how it affects Pecola and her self-image. The passage starts after one of many arguments between Cholly and Mrs. Breedlove, Pecola's parents, turns violent. Mrs. Breedlove wants Cholly to fetch some coal from the outside shed. Cholly spent the last night drinking and does not want to get out of bed. The passage begins with the children becoming aware of the argument. Mrs. Breedlove starts to hit him with cooking pans while Cholly mostly used his feet and teeth. After the fight is over Mrs. Breedlove just lets Cholly lie on the ground and she goes about her
We can sympathize with Cholly when we look at all the dreadful experiences Cholly went through during his life. He couldn’t be a good husband because he never saw his father show love to his mother or show how to care for her. He couldn’t be a good father because he never had a father to set the example for him. All he learned from his parents was lack of love and the feeling of being neglected, and this became normal. Cholly loved Pecola, but didn’t know how to express it because his parents never expressed it to him. Cholly’s, Polly’s, and Pecola’s
Slavery, segregation, and discrimination are commonly viewed as some of the primary struggles African Americans contended with. However, in Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eyes, it reveals struggles not commonly discussed about, such as internalized racism within black society and the internal conflict with one’s own blackness. Throughout the novel, characters repeatedly try to consume whiteness as a mean to escape their own blackness. They submerge themselves with the notion that the white, Eurocentric culture is the superior culture, and being white means being beautiful and powerful. In doing so, they gradually disconnect and disassociate themselves from their own African American heritage.
Pauline eventually meets Cholly, who is Pecola’s biological father, and they fall in love. "He seemed to relish her company and even to enjoy her country ways and lack of knowledge about city things. He talked with her about her foot and asked, when they walked through the town or in the fields, if she were tired. Instead of ignoring her infirmity, pretending it was not there, he made it seem like something special and endearing. For the first time Pauline felt that her bad foot was an asset. And he did touch her, firmly but gently, just as she had dreamed. But minus the gloom of setting suns and lonely river banks. She was secure and grateful; he was kind and lively. She had not known there was so much laughter in the world." (Morrison, p. 115)
Breedlove so mad that she backhands her and knocks Pecola down to the floor. They told her about Marie in which Pecola defended her. While Pecola, Frieda, and Claudia were talking, a young white girl appears and seems startled to see them. She asked for “Polly” and that made Claudia mad because no one calls her by that name since Pecola must call her mother Mrs. Breedlove. As Pecola and Mrs. MacTeer exits the house in shame they heard the white girl crying and Mrs. Breedlove complaining. Mrs. Breedlove told the little pink-and-yellow girl, “Hush, don’t worry none” (109) because she doesn’t need to know what’s going on in finding out how abusive she really is. Pecola being Pauline biological daughter is being treated rough and bitter because she can’t forgive her for being pregnant by her husband. She is more
Fulfillment of a wish may be even more tragic than the wish impulse itself, the wish to see things as differently as one wants to be seen. The connection between how one is seen and what one sees has a uniquely tragic outcome for Pecola. She is a symbol of the black community’s self-hatred and belief in their own ugliness. Because she is black she may have a chance at being loved, but because she is a scapegoat and must carry all of their problems, she destroys herself and can redeem no chance at being loved. Her ugliness makes them feel beautiful. Her suffering makes them feel lucky. Her internalization of their self-hatred being forced upon her pushes her to the brink of insanity. Forced furthur and furthur into her fantasy world, which is her only defense against the pain, Pecola uses that pain to escape reality and make herself disappear. She goes mad believing that her wish has been granted and she has blue eyes, but her fate is far worse than death as she is offered no release. Pecola’s wandering at the edge of town haunts the community, reminding them of the ugliness and hatred they’ve tried to
People in the African-American community express their self-hatred toward Pecola and degrade her. Pecola’s ugliness has made others feel beautiful, and her suffering has made others feel better about themselves. Pecola is regarded as an ‘ugly little black girl’ who is not worthy of any respect or dignity, and because Pecola continues to live after she becomes insane she serves as a reminder to the town or the ugliness and hatred that they have tried to repress. Claudia’s life is quite different from Pecola’s life. Claudia is a victim of beauty standards, as Pecola is, but Claudia is able to fight back against the standards because she has a stable family life. When Claudia is given a white doll to play with, she despises the doll, and dissects and destroys the doll, and Claudia hates Shirley Temple because Shirley is pretty and white “I hated Shirley. Not because she was cute, but because she danced with Bojangles, who was my friend, my uncle, my daddy, and who ought to have been soft-shoeing it and chuckling with me. Instead he was enjoying, sharing, giving a lovely dance thing with one of those little white girls whose socks never slid down under their heels”(Pg. 19). Claudia is not jaded because when Pecola becomes pregnant with Pecola’s father’s child Claudia tries to come up with a plan to save Pecola’s baby “We have to do it right, now. We’ll bury the money over by her house so we can’t go back and dig it up, and we’ll plant the
Claudia and Frieda are Pecola’s friends who feel bad for her unlike the rest of the neighborhood when they find out her father impregnated her. They do many sacrifices over the summer believing that that’s what will help Pecola’s baby live. Their sacrifices go to waste when the baby is born and dies prematurely. Cholly rapes Pecola a second time, runs away, and dies in a workhouse. Pecola goes mad, believing her wish has been fulfilled and she has the bluest of blue eyes.
measures up to the years of hurtful mockery. He took away from her the one
The story begins with the description of Pecola's family:"they live in a storefront because they were poor and black and they stayed there because they believed they were ugly" (Morrison 38). Unfortunately, Pecola's feelings of ugliness are reinforced by her own parents; her father Cholly’s ugliness came from his " despair, dissipation, and violence directed toward pretty things and weak people" (Morrison 38). Pecola's Mother Pauline states that "But I knowed she was ugly. Head full of pretty hair, but Lord she was ugly" (Morrison 126). Pecola was doomed to a life of self-doubt and shame of who she is. Pauline and Cholly love each other