Cholly Breedlove   Leave a comment

This chapter describes Cholly, and his childhood. His mother abandons him on a trash heap when he is four days old, but his Great Aunt Jimmy rescues him. She beats his mother and his mother runs away. He learns his father’s name, Samson Fuller, and two years later takes a job Tyson’s Feed and Grain store, where he meets a man named Blue Jack. Blue Jack is kind to Cholly, so that he remembers for a long time. Aunt Jimmy gets sick, and a local healer prescribes pot liquor. She begins to improve, but then she eats a peach cobbler and dies. Cholly doesn’t feel grief when he first finds her, because of the excitement of the funeral and the care everyone is showing him. That day, he gets a girl he likes to take a walk with him, and they end up having sex. A pair of white hunters find them, and decide to watch. The hunters leave when they hear their dogs howling. Later, Cholly fears that Darlene might be pregnant, so he runs away using some money Aunt Jimmy had hidden. He finds his father, but he is disappointed, since Samson assumes that some other woman has sent him and curses him away. He continues his life without caring about whether or how he lives or dies. He only marries Pauline because of her innocence, but marriage makes him feel trapped. This is when he begins to drink. The chapter ends caught up to the present, when Cholly comes home drunk and rapes Pecola, driven by a mixture of tenderness and anger, both coming from guilt. Pecola faints and wakes up under a quilt with her mother standing over her.

This chapter doesn’t give nearly as much sympathy to Cholly as the last one did to Pauline. All through the book, we knew that Cholly was going to get Pecola pregnant, so there was little his story could do to make him more likable, since the reader had plenty of time to hate him for his actions.

Aunt Jimmy represents elderly black women, who have experienced racism and abuse, but also motherhood, and now they have a special freedom. Cholly finds a dangerous freedom after meeting his father, but the one Aunt Jimmy had didn’t lead to an even more dangerous depression and fearlessness like Cholly’s did.


Posted April, 2012 by emilienoel2013 in Uncategorized

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