“Once there was an old man …”– Page 164
Once again, the story shifts to the perspective of a different character. This time being Soaphead Church. The reader gain knowledge that Soaphead is a twisted religious pedophile ho has contradictory views. One thing I found interesting was the way he compared himself to God while degrading God. He took such a literal sense on God’s actions and created his own judgement on them. He thinks, “God had done a poor job, and Soaphead suspected that he himself could have done better”(pg 173). The way he holds his ideals astounds me because he holds belief in his own lies without seeing results. He holds God almost accountable for not being more present and impactful despite he himself not actually doing anything real. He’s quite the contradictory character.
Chapter nine is about Soaphead Church, who is a pedophile who touches young girls. He becomes a fortune teller in the states and is visited by a pregnant Pecola who desperately wants blue eyes. He has Pecola poison a dog, saying if it reacts then God has meant for her to have blue eyes. He later claims himself as a god after recalling his past and falls into an almost dead like sleep.
This chapter describes a man by the name of Soaphead Church. He is a light-skinned West Indian man and his lighter complexion gives him an unjustified feeling of superiority. Members of his family always tried to marry other light-skinned individuals, and if they could not find any, they would marry their own family members. Soaphead Church believes he has powers and a direct connection with God. He is attracted to young girls and uses religion and literature to justify his attraction. Soaphead Church is yet another example of the false sense of superiority that is granted to light-skinned members of the Black community. Along with Maureen, he exemplifies the effects of the infatuation with whiteness.
Soaphead Church, a creep of a new character. He is an old man that was raised in a West Indies, or Mulatto, family and he has light brown skin. He hates interaction with other humans. However, this weird, hermit-like characteristic has one weakness. Because he fails sexually with older women that are of his age, he concludes to molesting little girls and according to him, he does it in a “clean and friendly” way. I find Soapheads interaction with Pecola interesting. She believes he is magic and asks to turn her eyes blue. Soaphead changes character a little bit and feels some sympathy for Pecola. The chpater ends in a sort of ambiguous way. I found the end sort of confusing and hard to understand. It seemed like Soaphead was beginning to go crazy. Crazier than he already was. He was agnered with God but it was really just his own guilt I feel.
The chapter starts off with describing a man named “Soaphead Church” who was a light-skinned West indian raised by a proud family. His family was corrupt, and tried to marry other people similar to them, but failed. Soon enough Soaphead learned about how to self-depricate himself and had a revulsion for dirt and decay. He tries to marry a woman named Velma who left him afterwards and studied in psychiatry. He rents a room with an old lady, but is presented with a dog as well, Soaphead, dislikes this dog and wants to kill it. So he does this by persuading Pecola when he asks if she can have his blue eyes. Soaphead says her wish will be granted if she gave the dog some meat, which was poisoned. The dog dies and Pecola runs away. Soaphead writes a letter to God saying how he touched some girls in exchange for candy and money, but still says how he did not touch Pecola. He says that he rivalled God by granting her wish, but she will not literally have blue eye. He closes the letter about the stuff he has collected.
Chapter 9 talks about a man named Soaphead Church. The author I feel uses him to show how the idea of racism and being black can affect an African American family. He just like everyone else in the novel has had difficulty in his past. However he seems to be over it. Then Pecola comes up to him and asks him for blue eyes. He then tricks her into poisoning the dog and tells her if the dog reacts then her wish will come true. Then he writes a letter to God blaming him for all of this. I do not understand what was the point of killing the dog, it was not bothering him.
Soaphead Church considers himself superior to some because of the white blood in him. Maybe this is part of the reason he can’t stand other people, he’s stuck in between being colored and being white. His false sense of superiority won’t allow him to like anyone of color, and his own color doesn’t allow him to be fully accepted. He turns his sexual attraction to children, maybe because racism is something that is taught and it’s too early for them to care about color. His sense of superiority is shown in his career, masquerading as someone who has almost godly powers. He feels he can do whatever he wishes, and takes no blame.
In chapter 9, the narrator talks about a man named Soaphead Church. He was raised in a family proud of it mixed blood. Soaphead like everyone else in the novel has had hardship in his past. When Pecola comes to him and asks him for blue eyes, he tricks her into poisoning the dog. He tells her that if the dg reacts then her wish for blue eyes will come true. He then writes a letter to God where he is blaming god for his own failing. My first impression of this man wasn’t very high due to the previous two chapters of the terrible Breedloves’. I came to be right with my first impression due to Soaphead having awful life motives and beliefs as well as have a ridiculous name.
This chapter really shows the authors ability to transition a story from compelling characters and the generalized image of African American life. Aunt Jimmy is a great example of this as she is a individual character that represents the life of an elderly black woman. She has gone through her own struggles with racism, and an abusive relationship. Looking past all of that, she experienced the feeling of physical love and the joy of motherhood. And, through her old age, she feels free to express her beliefs fearlessly. Aunt Jimmy has been through a lot, and I think that her experiences have enabled her to express what she never could before. It’s very inspiring to see someone struggle through so much and rise to be a powerful individual.
Soaphead Church is another example of how the obsession of whiteness and cleanliness can derail a black life. His mixed blood gives him a false sense of superiority. He maintains this through delusions of grandeur. Part of him is actually convinced he can work miracles and is a direct line to God. His disgust of human physicality and obsession of spiritual cleanliness leaves him very lonely which ironically causes him to direct his sexual impulses towards young girls. In direct relation to this, the narrator ironically calls him a “a very clean old man”. This is in contrast to what he really is, a dirty old man. The purpose of this is to show that his obsession with bodily purity has made him more perverted than simple lust would have.
This chapter introduced us to a new character, who goes by the nickname of Soaphead Church. This man is a very interesting and evil man who loves disorder and despises humans. He also is shown to believe, through his letter at the end and mension of wishing God had “sought his council” when making humanity, that he is above God and knows and can do more than God has ever done. This, in a way, reminds me of Satan, who was kicked out of heaven for believing he was above God, and in hell longs for sin and chaos. Even more so adding to his evil nature, he explains that he does not love normal women, or even men, but little girls. He goes on to describe, in great detail, why he loves them so much, even alluding to the fact that he went to jail for it because he states that its “not like the newspapers said.” and referencing a faucet head from a sink in jail that is in his possession. He sickeningly compares touching them inappropriately to being friendly and playful, especially in the quote “I gave them mints, money, and they’d eat ice cream with their legs open while I played with them”(181). This shows how sick and twisted his mindset is, and also kind of paints awful, illegal acts in a brighter light, showing how normalized illegal and immoral behavior can be to some people.
By this point in the book, we are introduced to, in my opinion, the most disturbing character so far. Soaphead Church was raised in a family that would sometimes resort to incest if they could not find someone the thought to be good enough to marry, he had a short 2 month marriage, moved to Lorain in the back room of an old woman, hates the dog and tries to kill it but is even too wacky to go near it, then tricks a young girl (Pecola) into killing it for him, to finally be revealed as someone who likes little girl’s breasts. He is a repulsive man who I find deeply disturbing. He touches little girls and in exchange gives them money and candy. He also thinks that he is doing good by tricking Pecola into thinking that is she gives the dog meat, which he poisoned,that it will giver her the blue eyes she went to him for. He believes that God will commend him for the fact that he did not inappropriately touch Pecola. He is a manipulative and disgusting man who just adds to the disturbing nature of this book.
The chapter starts out with a description of a misanthrope, not immediately revealing who it is. Then discouraging talk of the man’s sexual thoughts and preference of young girls seemed to turn it to a bad direction, I am thankful it then mentioned thoughts being “anything but lewd”, although still pretty weird. It is revealed that the subject is a man the main girls have referenced before, Soaphead Church. It seems his family is proud of an academic knack. Pecola comes to see him for blue eyes, we have been made aware previously her envy for the blue-eyed. Soaphead gives her poison food for the dog saying a reaction would grant her wish and the dog dies, scaring Pecola. He talks more about his love for girls, this guy is way off, and Velma made the right move seemingly, though this pedophilic man describes himself as a mess from her leaving him, like how people leave a hotel room. All in all, I do not like Soaphead.