“The Breedloves did not live…”– Page 38
This chapter starts to let us know of the clear line of who is affected by the standard of beauty among the society. Pecola is told by her family that, and has accepted that, she is ugly. She isn’t truly ugly, but she does not meet the societal view of beauty. She longs to be like the Mary Jane on her candy. She also grows close to the prostitutes, finding someone to connect with emotionally.
This chapter strongly depicted the unhealthy relationship the Breedlove family hs with each other. The build up of tension leads to physical, verbal, and mental damage. This family greatly contrasts the ideal American family. The greatest contrast in my opinion is the father. Ideally he is supposed to be strong, but in this family he is very weak by turning to lust, alcohol, and force to solve problems. This negatively impacts his entire family, so much to the point his own son wants him dead. This is depicted, “Sammy screamed, ‘Kill him! Kill him!’ “(pg 44).
You know, when the chapter starts out with describing how the Breedlove family is ugly with no explanation, I felt that. Then it goes on to say about a fight between Cholly in a drunken rage against Mrs. Breedlove and you know they fight about coal or whatever, but I feel like this fight could mean so much more than that.
“… she could display the style and imagination of what she believed to be her true self.” (41)
This quote shows how the fights between Mrs. Breedlove and Cholly define their lives. These fights shows an opportunity for creativity or living as they want to be.
Later on in the story pecola goes out to a groery store to buy candy and while in the midst of buying candy she decides that a blonde, blue-eyed Mary Jane is beautiful. I believe this could be a relation to the title of the book to where Pecola wants to have ‘blue eyes” just to be beautiful.
In chapter 3, I began to feel sad of the Breedlove family. In this chapter the author announced that the Breedlove family was ugly because they thought that they were ugly. The whole home situation was just unsettling know that that Mr. and Mrs. Breedlove hated one another and fought all the time but had a unstated agreement not to kill each other. Also, Pecola thinking if she had blue eyes that her life would be better also was sadning because that isn’t a realistic idea or solution to her problems. Blue eyes don’t make your life perfect or easy.
This chapter really focuses on Pecola. It discusses a symbolic tale that shows how Pecola fantasizes about her life. She talks about changes in her appearance, like if her eyes were blue her life would correct itself and be perfect. There seem to be two main reasons as to why Pecola wants blue eyes; she feels that others view her as ugly and she wants to change they way people see her. I feel that this is very relevant in today’s society. Women and young girls are told countless times that we need to look a certain way to be considered beautiful when that just simply isn’t true. Society pressures females into certain standard and most of us choose to believe this way. Everyone is different and has unique qualities that are special only to them, and that’s what makes them beautiful.
In this chapter, the reader gains a lot of sympathy and emotion for Pecola because it describes how isolated and mistreated she is. She believes that she is ugly because she has this idea in her head of what beauty is and how she should look. Every person she encounters treats her horribly like her teachers and fellow classmates tease her and don’t go near her. The torture does not stop when she leaves school though, her parents fight constantly and she has to find a way to escape the craziness. Her siblings have their own ways of dealing with their home life and she too finds her own way of coping with the bitterness and obstacles in her life. She spends time with the women who live above her. They might not be the best role models for a growing young girl to be learning from but it gives her a sense of calm and a place to feel okay even for a little bit. The other thing Pecola does to try to help her is thinking of herself just disappearing. She says, “please God… Please make me disappear”. She sits in her room and closes her eyes and tries to picture herself slowly disappearing however, the only thing she can never see go away are her eyes. This also brings up a very important part in the book. She thinks she should have blue eyes to be beautiful. The blue eyes that Pecola mentions she wants to have are very significant and I have a feeling will be further explained in future chapters.
Some bad things are going down in the Breedloves life! The chapter makes a shift from last chapter in its main idea. The chapter previous was a desciption of the storefront and its past. This chapter is about the family, the Breedloves. It caught my attention when the author first offers that Mr. Breedlove, or Cholly, is drunk at night and wakes up hung over. I had a feeling that the author wouldn’t have brought about this information unless it was to cause conflict. It did, and Cholly ended up beating his wife, Pecola, after she repeatdley told him to go get coal for the family and stop getting drunk. Pecola escapes him and gets her son for help. They get Cholly on the ground, he is unconcious. This suprised me at first, I thought, “How could they take down a grown man ad even knock him out”, but then I remembered that Cholly was still very hungover and I’m sure very dizzy and not exactly ready to fight.
This chapter follows Pecola, and mostly focuses on her family situation, which is absolutely horrible. Her father and mother, Cholly and Mrs. Breedlove, fight constantly and violently. Cholly seems to always come home extremely drunk, and Mrs. Breedlove seems to give no love or compassion to her own children whatsoever. It’s extremely disheartening that Pecola can’t even feel enough love for her parents to call them mom and dad, and that she constantly wishes and says “please, God… Please make me disappear.” No person should ever feel that way, especially a child due to her family. Pecola is treated awfully by her family, her classmates, her teachers, and the world, and the only way she can think to fix it is by wishing for blue eyes. From reading the Dick and Jane book excerpt on page 46, we can see where Pecola got the idea that her eyes weren’t beautiful, and that only blue eyes were. I feel very bad for Pecola and how she is treated by others, and how she sees herself.
In the beginning of this passage, it speaks of the violent relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Breedlove, and how it affects their children. You can see how it could change the children and shape who they grow up to be. Sammy may become violent himself, screaming for his mother to kill his father. Pecola however seems to hate herself as a result. She doesn’t want to exist anymore, and the passage explains how she views herself as ugly. Pecola escapes this situation by running to the store to buy penny candy. In the store, it is clear that the shop owner is racist, and doesn’t even view her as a person. He barely looks at her, and he is rude as well. This is even more strain for Pecola, she already sees her features as ugly, because of these experiences she thinks her skin is too. She longs to have blue eyes and be beautiful, and she wants to look like the little white girl on her candy wrapper. She hates this girl for her looks, and longs to have them. When she trips and falls, she eats the candy to console herself. She describes the nine pieces of candy as nine “orgasms” which again gives average things and unnecessarily sexual tone. With this tone and her fathers violence, as well as his depravity, there is dark foreshadowing.
This chapter was all about Pecola. As the the chapter goes on the focus becomes more on Pecola. At the beginning of the chapter they talk about Pecola’s and the family’s “ugliness” which is a reference to racism. Also this chapter keeps with the dark and depressing tone. It has Pecola’s parents get into an altercation which turns physically abusive. The fighting leads to stress and anxiety for the children. Then Pecola buys candy from a shady man who seems to want to harm her. She lastly goes and hangs out with prostitutes because they are the few people who are nice to her.
The narrator announces that the Breedloves live in the storefront because they are black and poor, and because they believe they are ugly. They are not objectively ugly. It is even described that they have high set cheekbones and shapely lips. They are ugly because they believe they are ugly. This really stuck out to me because I think about it a lot. It highlights how important a mindset can be. The narrator in this chapter brings attention to the fact that they live in ugly conditions because they believe they are ugly. A change in mindset could help, even if it is just a little. The problem that is brought to light in this chapter is that we, as a people, accept the love and conditions we think we deserve, and it is extremely difficult to change a mindset or way of thinking when an entire society is telling you that you deserve to be living in an ugly storefront. I think this is an issue that Morrison is trying to shed some light on in this chapter.
This chapter is fully centered on Pecola, who I now believe is the main character. It opens with a discussion of the family’s “ugliness”, which refers to racism. Pecola clearly struggles with this all of the time. Her parents are violent towards each other, physically abusive, causing grief for the children. Pecola buys from candy from a man who is clearly seeing her as less than human. She then meets with some prostitutes who are kind to her.
I can’t help but think of the irony of the name Breedlove. It seems like the family is so dysfunctional and they don’t do anything to help foster or “breed” love and caring amongst one another.
No matter how many times I read it, I’m still bothered by the incident when the white men catch Cholly and the girl in the bushes. Instead of directing his hatred and anger towards the men who are humiliating them, Cholly focuses on hating the girl? The only person who seems to care for him? The narrator gives us a glimpse into Cholly’s thinking when he says, “For some reason Cholly had not hated the white me; he hated, despised, the girl” (42). I’m not sure I’ll ever understand his mindset at that moment.
The amount of violence the family endures every day is horrible. Even more upsetting is how routine the children deal with it. In fact, Sammy’s comment to this mother, “Kill him! Kill him!” doesn’t even register as a concern to Mrs. Breedlove (43). Instead, she calmly replies “Get up from there anyhow. I need some coal” (44).
This is the first mention of the desire for blue eyes as well. Pecola’s lack of self worth and her feeling of worthlessness seem to only be cured by her view that blue eyes will make her beautiful to the world. The Dick & Jane primer reinforces her belief that when she hopes people would say “look at pretty-eyed Pecola. We mustn’t do bad things in front of those pretty eyes” (46).
The Mary Jane candies also reinforce her obsession with blue eyes. Her belief that “To eat the candy is somehow to eat the eyes” is reminiscent of the earlier chapter when she drinks all the white milk out of the Shirley Temple glass (49). Her childlike fantasy of obtaining the “white beauty” of blue eyes.
A random connection… when talking to the women, Pecola looks out the window and sees “A tuft of grass had forced its way up through a crack in the sidewalk, only to meet a raw October wind” (57). It reminds me of Frost’s A Tuft Of Flowers we studied earlier in the year. The overarching theme of finding companionship with nature so you are not alone. However, in this moment Pecola, unlike Frost, tries to find comfort in the work and is met by the coldness of society or a “raw October wind” (57). I think it is an interesting juxtaposition.
“Long hours she sat looking in the mirror, trying to discover the secret of the ugliness, the ugliness that made her ignored or despised at school, by teachers and classmates alike. She was the only member of her class who sat alone at a double desk” (page 45).This chapter reveals the isolation that Pecola feels in every aspect of her life. At home, her parents fight constantly and her brother chooses to cope with his struggles in a different way than Pecola. When he makes plans to run away, he does not include Pecola, and because she is younger and female, she does not have the option to do so by herself. Additionally, she is mistreated at school by both the students and the teachers. She is forced to sit alone and the children make fun of her by using her name when teasing others. Even when she goes out in public, like when she went to the store to buy candy, she is not treated with any kind of respect. The man at the store is very rude to her because of his pre existing prejudices. The constant mistreatment makes Pecola feel and believe that she is ugly. The only place that she finds welcoming is the apartment above the Breedloves’. The women who live there are kind to Pecola, and although they may not be the best influences, she “loved them.” This chapter provokes a great deal of sympathy for Pecola as it reveals her isolating life.