Spring, Section 1   Leave a comment

When spring arrives, Claudia spends a long time laying in the grass. When she gets home, she finds Frieda crying, and finds out Mr. Henry touched Frieda’s breasts, and was chased away by her parents. Frieda worries about being ruined like the prostitutes, and the girls think they stay skinny by drinking whiskey. When they fo to Pecolas house to see if she can get them some, since Cholly is always drunk, no one is home. The Maginot Line told them Pecola was with her mother at work, so they decide to walk there. They arrive at a beautiful neighborhood whose playground is for white children only, and they are told by Mr.s Breedlove that they can wait for Pecola and walk home with her. Inside the house, a little white girl calls for Polly, which makes Claudia angry since even Pecola calls her mother ‘Mrs. Breedlove.’ Pecola accidentally knock over a fresh pie, burning herself and earning a beating from her mother. Mrs. Breedlove furiously sends the girls away and comforts the little girl who lives at the house.

Frieda is ignorant and confused at her experience, but sexuality was forced upon her by an adult. She depends on her parents reactions to understand what happened. The girls also understand that the Maginot Line is ‘ruined’ but not why, and why her mother is repulsed to her. They guess that it is because she is fat, which is what they don’t lie about her. They also guess that the other two prostitutes ar skinny because they drink whisky, which is something they learned from their mother. They decide that the only way to keep Frieda from being ruined is to keep her skinny, which can be done by drinking whiskey. This shows an entire chain of mistaken reasoning, based on their mothers gossip. However, this situation is very different from Pecola’s, because Friedas parents were quick to protect her, while Cholly did just the opposite to Pecola.

The ‘white’ neighborhood emphasises the connection between race and class. Inside the house the racial connections continue, with the little white girls dressed neatly and delicately, while Pecola is covered in hot berry juice, connecting whiteness with cleanliness. Mrs. Breedlove recognizes that her race is not respected when she slaps Pecola into the pie juice and cleans off the little white girls instead of checking Pecola’s burn. When asked who the girls were, Mrs. Breedlove avoids answering, thus saying Pecola is her daughter. By doing this and staying to make another pie, Mrs. Breedlove chooses her employers over her family.

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Posted April, 2012 by emilienoel2013 in Uncategorized

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