The Breedloves   Leave a comment

     Here, the narrator announces that the Breedloves live in the storefront because they are poor and black, and they stay there because they think that they are ugly. They had shapely lips that drew attention to the face, and there you thought that they were ugly but you couldn’t tell why until you saw that they are ugly because they think they are ugly. This is a hint of what I thought the novel would be about at first glance, self-acceptance. If the Breedloves would be a little more confident, they would be a lot more attractive.

     Mrs. Breedlove is going to fight with Cholly today, because he came home drunk. She wakes him several times for coal, and tells him she better not sneeze once. Even though they fight violently a lot, the narrator says that the two need each other. Without Cholly, Mrs. Breedlove wouldn’t be able to assume the role of ‘martyrdom,’ as the narrator says she imagines herself as being. Cholly needs Mrs. Breedlove to take out his anger on her. He has had several instances of massive humiliation, and he is very angry very randomly, so much so that he surprises himself. The two have an unspoken agreement not to kill each other.

(Something strange, the children don’t call her mom or mother, they call her Mrs. Breedlove.)

     Of course, Mrs. Breedlove sneezes, so she pours cold water on Cholly’s head and they start fighting. The son, Sammy, joins in and knocks Cholly out, and encourages his mother to kill him.  Pecola sits silently and wills herself to disappear, but my bit, until only her eyes remain, like they always do. Pecola tells herself that if she had beautiful eyes, her parents wouldn’t fight, so she prays for blue eyes every night, without fail.

When Pecola goes to the candy store, the manager is frustrated with her because she is not communicating with her very clearly, and then he is afraid to touch her hand to get the money for the candy. Outside of the store, she feels ashamed, maybe for thinking the dandelions she saw on the way weren’t ugly, but now she sees that they really are.

     Pecola goes to see the prostitutes next. They are described not as hookers with hearts of gold or women whose innocence has been stolen. They just hate men. They aren’t ashamed of their job, or their ‘boyfriends.’

     The Breedloves aren’t ugly because of ugly faces. They have normal faces, with good and bad features. The narrator says it was like some “all-knowing master has said ‘you are ugly people.'” They accepted it. That is what makes them ugly. Their ugliness is given tot hem, but also chosen by them. This is similar to Mrs. Breedlove. She needs Cholly so that she can assume the role of martyr, so that her days are more dramatic, and that is why she accepts the abuse, even though she could leave if she wanted. She could have killed Cholly. She wants to give her life some meaning, but in doing so she has put herself in a destructive situation.

     Pecola thinks that if she had blue eyes, her life would be perfect like the girl on the candy wrappers. She wants new eyes so that she can change the way she sees and the way people see her. She temporarily abandons societies view of beautiful when she questions the assumption that the dandelions are ugly, but then accepts it again after her interaction in the candy store, as if interacting with the white man reminded her of what she was supposed to think beautiful was. This shows that she has the ability to accept herself as beautiful without blue eyes.

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Posted March, 2012 by emilienoel2013 in Uncategorized

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