“The first twigs are thin, green, and supple.” – Page 97
We learn in this chapter Mrs. Breedlove’s conduct toward those of higher socioeconomic status in comparison to her own child. It is written, “The little girl in pink started to cry. Mrs.Breedlove turned to her. ‘Hush, baby, hush. Come here.’ “(pg 109). Here Polly comfort the child of her employer for a mistake her own daughter made. Instead of checking on the well being of her own daughter, she aids the girls she works for. It’s also noted that how she aids the child is never how she treats her own kids. Polly scolds her children when they make mistakes but never dare to correct a white child. This chapter shows how one may change themselves in order to fit in more with society and not stand out.
This chapter goes further into detail to show the ways in which black men and women tried to fit in among the white men and women, looking down on their fellow black friends and family with a fake mindest in mind. It also shows the fear of Freida possibly getting raped, and the innocence of the children who can’t comprehend the events.
It is spring! The chapter begins with Claudia finding Freida crying. This leads to her finding out that Henry inappropriately touched Freida’s breasts. My input on this is that this situation is very sad and I’m sure Freida is very confused and doesn’t know what to do considering her age. Then Mr. MacTeer shoots at Henry! Henry flees quickly. This scene is very important because it is very scary however it shows what Mr. MacTeer will do to protect Freida. A bunch of the neighbors were outside involved in this conversation when one suggested that Freida should be checked by a doctor because she might be “ruined”. I think that this comment is a little crazy and almost sexist in a way. If anything, she needs to see a therapist if it is bothering her or something. Getting touched can’t really ruin you physically to where you need to see a doctor. However, if the story is infering a doctor, then it is right and I’m not understanding properly!
It is now spring! Which in this case, seemed like pain to Claudia, as she associates this event with whipping. Claudia walks upstairs to see Frieda crying. Claudia asks why and Frieda says how Mr. Henry touched her breasts. Soon enough their parents found out and when Mr. Henry tried to come back he was shot at and Mr. Henry ran away. A neighbour of theirs says that Frieda might have been “ruined”, which could mean a loss of innocence. The girl’s definion of ruined was being fat and they decided whisky can fix that. They meet up the the Maginot Line and talk about being ruined, but she gets mad at throws a root beer bottle at the two girls. Thw two girls returned home and they find a white girl who calls for Polly, which is Mrs. Breedlove’s first name I suppose. Pecola leaves a berry cobbler on the table and it splatters on the ground burning the white girl. Pecola gets beat while Polly tends to the white girl.
Spring hits and the girls are faced with a new set of problems. Upon returning home, Claudia finds her mother singing and acting strangely and Freida upstairs crying. Claudia learns that Mr. Henry had inappropriately touched Freida, which results in craziness with her parents attacking Mr. Henry and several neighbors getting involved. One of the neighbors says that Freida should go to the doctor’s and suggests that she may be “ruined” which frightens the girls. They do not know what exactly it means to be ruined, but believe i would make them fat and that whiskey could prevent that, as it did for China and Poland. The girls go on a search for Mr. Breedlove’s whiskey, and ultimately begin looking for Mrs Breedlove, who they find at work. There they realize that the white girl of the family, for whom Mrs. Breedlove works, calls her by her first name Polly. This especially angers Claudia because even Pecola calls her mother Mrs. Breedlove. Pecola accidentally knocks a cobbler off the counter and her mother beats her and sends the girls on their way. This chapter again reveals the mistreatment of the girls from everyone around them. I was disturbed by Freida’s experiences and felt bad for Pecola because it seemed as if her mother treated the little white girl so much better than her own daughter.
As the season transitions into Spring the girls focus on things changing besides the weather, they’re more worried about more painful tools to be used in beatings. This bleak outlook takes excitement out of their lives, it is sad that this is their first thought. When Freida is upset, Caullean thinks she was beaten, but it was even worse. Mr. Henry finally has shown his true self, and he has flirted with and touched Freida. She ran and told her parents, and her father attacked and screamed at Mr. Henry, then shot at him with a gun. Frieda knows so little that she worries she will be “ruined” by this experience and end up as an overweight prostitute. She sees the only way to prevent this as drinking whiskey in order to waste away, but this would only make issues worse. They go to ask Pecola for some as her dad is always drunk, and end up in a confrontation with the prostitute Freida fears she’ll become. When they say the mean things they’ve been told to her, she throws a glass bottle at them and they run. They deal with a lot of insensitivity, but they also practice it themselves without realizing it. When they get to the nice neighborhood Pecola is in, they encounter Mrs. Breedlove at her job, and see a young white girl they instantly hate, which is another example of their own insensitivity. Pecola ruins a pie, and is immediately beaten by her mother. Her mother seems to show more tenderness for the white girl she works for than her own daughter, who is immediately sent out. When the young girl asks who the girls were, Mrs. Breedlove doesn’t even recognize them. This shows how little she cares about her own daughter.
In the beginning of chapter 6 with Claudia saying that the switch from winter to spring was like getting whipped with a switch and not strap. Also she finds her mom singing a little song, which I found strange and it goes against the dark and creepy tone. She also finds out that Frieda was sexually assaulted by Mr. Henry. This is really upsetting to read and quite uncomfortable as no one should have to deal with being sexually abused.
In chapter 6, Claudia discovers her mother repeating chores and her sister crying, It is revealed that Mr. Henry touched Frieda in an inappropriate way. Then fights came about and Frieda is worried that she is now ruined because of Mr. Henry. The two girls think that a way for Frieda to not get fat is to drink whiskey. The girls don’t really understand what “ruined” meaning in the chapter but they understand that it is a negative word towards a person. Frieda in this chapter is being forced to grow up a little bit and knows what Mr. Henry did was wrong but doesn’t know what it means to her. I am pleased that her parents defended her they way that they did.
In the beginning of this chapter, Claudia relates winter changing into spring to being whipped with a switch instead of a strap. She goes home to find her mother acting rather strange, as she’s singing a tune throughout the house, and doing the same tasks twice. She later finds out that Freida was groped by Henry. I’d say that this chapter displays Freida’s experiences as she is becoming more sexually active, and its quite disturbing that it all started with sexual harassment. No one should have to go through that, especially at a younger age.
Claudia finds Freida crying which leads to her finding out that Henry inappropriately touched Freida’s breasts. When the go outside, they find a scene that is chaotic and wild. Mr. MacTeer was given a gun by Mr.Buford and he had shot at Henry, who fled the area. A bunch of the neighbors were outside involved in this conversation when one suggested that Freida should be checked by a doctor because she might be “ruined”. The girls are not sure what that means but their interpretation of it is becoming fat. The know that the girls who live above Pecola are “ruined” but are not fat because they drink whiskey so they set off to find Pecola to ask for her father’s whiskey. When they finally track her down, they find her at a nice house helping her mother work. It ends with Pecola getting yelled at for dropping a pie and the girls leave.
Claudia walks in on Freida crying and inquires why. Freida tells a story of being touched by Mr. Henry, telling her parents, and her dad running Henry out with a gun (rightfully so I’d say). Freida is then worried about being “ruined”, which apparently to them means getting fat. They set out to find Pecolla and acquire whiskey, because they believe that’s why Poland isn’t fat. This leads them to Maginot Line, or Mrs. Marie, who Pecolla says isn’t all that bad.
In this chapter, Henry inappropriately touches Frieda´s breasts. When Claudia finds her, she is crying. They go and tell her parents, who then attack Henry upon his return. Mr. MacTeer even shoots at Henry which causes him to run away. A neighbor suggests that Frieda should see a doctor because she might be ¨ruined¨. This caused Frieda to be swept with fear. This is important because Frieda does not fully understand what that means. She understands that what happened to her is inappropriate but she does not understand why. Frieda is close to the age where she needs to step into her sexual identity, but is instead forced into it by an adult. It took away her chance to discover things on her own which also took away her chance to fully understand sexuality.
This chapter is very disheartening and sickening. At the beginning of the chapter, we see Mr. Henry’s creepiness directed towards the girls, by him hitting on and then inappropriately touching Frieda. When Claudia tries to comfort her, though, she just asks if it felt good and she seems upset that it hasn’t happened to her, showing her very young and inappropriate mindset showing she doesn’t understand the true gravity of the situation. I thought it was very interesting that, after being confronted by the sisters parents, Mr. Henry just sang the song ‘Nearer My God to Thee’, as if trying to disguise his awful deeds with Jesus. This kind of reminded me of almost a fallen angle, deceiving people into believing he is good and can change while commiting awful sins. At the end of the chapter, the sisters go to see Pecola at her mom’s work, which appears to be some sort of nanny for a rich white family with a little girl. When Pecola spills the pan of berry cobbler that her mom made, Mrs. Breedlove proceeds to beat and yell at her and send the three girls away. This horrifying scene causes the little white girl to cry and become distressed, which she comforts and soothes. This made me feel awful for Pecola because her mother is being more of a mother to a random girl that her own daughter. I’m not entirely sure why the mother acts so cold to Pecola, possibly that she didn’t want her, or because she doesn’t like her husband, or if she just cares for this girl simply because its her job. I feel so bad for the girls in this chapter from all the pain and misery they had to endure.