Soaphead Church   Leave a comment

This chapter tells Soaphead Church’s story, whose given name is Elihue Micah Whitcomb. He is a light-skinned West Indian. His family members always try to marry light-skinned people, and they marry each other if they have to. His father was a schoolmaster and his mother was half chinese and died after he was born. He married a woman named Velma who left him two months later. He tried priesthood, the being a caseworker, finally deciding on being a “reader, advisor, and interpreter of dreams.” He studied, took different jobs, and ended up at Lorain, where he rents a back room. the dog there disgusts him, so he buys poison to kill it, but won’t go near it. One day, Pecola comes in to ask him to give her blue eyes. He lies to her and tells her that she will have blue eyes if she gives meat to the dog. The meat had been poisoned, so that the dog would die without Soaphead having to go near it. Pecola runs away when the dog dies. Soaphead writes a letter to god, in which he reveals that he still feels rejected by Velma, and that he is a pedophile. He brags that he granted Pecolas wish, since she will think she has blue eyes and that is just the same as having them. After he writes the letter, he looks at some his favorite trinkets and forgets that he was looking for sealing wax for his letter, and soon after falls asleep.

Soaphead convinces himself that his light skin makes him so superior that he can work miracles and that god is jealous of him. With Pauline and Cholly, the reader feels sympathy when they tell their stories, but with Soaphead the reader just sees him as more ridiculous than they previously thought. It doesn’t help that Soaphead considers his behavior acceptable because he knows the word misanthrope from his education. He cherry-picks from his literature, ignoring the parts that don’t agree with him. Soaphead is religious and believes in god, but is not loving. He only uses god to wish for a better life.

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Posted April, 2012 by emilienoel2013 in Uncategorized

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