Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Development of Characterization

Bluest Eye: Characterization
Authors attempt to create charcaters that evoke emotion and represent real people. So far you have been introduced to several characters in the text. Please share your thoughts about the following questions:
1. How do Claudia and Frieda respond to Pecola?
2. How do China, Poland, and Miss. Marie respond to Pecola?
3. Choose a character not listed to expose your thoughts.


  1. 1. They were instructed to be nice so they obeyed but their personal reaction to Pecola was to determine whether she would attempt to dominate them. Little black children are in the bottom of the bottom of the social ladder. They are used to having people step all over them and conquer what is theirs but since Pecola wasn't one of those people, and was on the same level as they were, they opened up to her and were friendly

    2. They accept her, give her things like shoes etc. They are the only grown people who actually talk to her with warm regards and they even call her sweet nicknames. Miss Marie shares stories from her past with Pecola and answers her questions. In my perspective, its a bit sad that the only adults that are willing to talk to her are whores.

    3. Pauline Breedlove represents the people who have built their principles on the general ideals of society. "She was never able, after her education in the movies, to look at a face and not assign it some category in the scale of absolute beauty". People live by the principles of their society and learn what is to be accepted and rejected into society, "she learned all there was to love and all there was to hate". Mrs. Breedlove is the perfect example of society's obsession with physical beauty.

  2. Wow!!! Your post demonstrates that you clearly understand the text. Moreover, I like that you mentioned the origin of Claudia and Frieda’s friendship. In short, Claudia and Frieda were ordered to be nice to Pecola per their mother. This detail serves as a casement to the young girls' friendship. As you state, they "let down their guard" once they realized that she did not desire to “dominate" them.
    Secondly, great ending point to Q2. Why do you feel Toni Morrison, the author, does this? Why does she choose these three women to show Pecola kindness?
    Finally, please elaborate on Q3. I am not clear on what you mean.

  3. Maybe because society alienates both Pecola and those three women. Both are seen as worthless so they find comfort with eachother.

    I mean she's like a symbol of society's obsession with physical beauty (maybe an archetype?). At first she shows no interest in what she wears or make up but when she sees other woman dressed nicely and goes to the movies, she learns what is considered beautiful and what is considered not beautiful. She conforms by accepting what a beautiful woman is supposed to look like.

  4. Throghout the novel, Claudia and Frieda seem to respond to Pecola in a positive way. Both Claudia and Frieda seem to have similarities with Pecola which develops into a freindship. Also, during the falling action when Claudia and Frieda give up the money for their new bicycle, symbolizes how these girls relate and understand what Pecola is going through.

    All three women accept Pecola by who she is and do not discourage her like society. These women give Peocla a sense of confidence, they listen to her, and give her advice. In a sense, Miss Marie is like a mother to Pecola because they both share that trust bond which a mother and daughter share. Miss Marie's stories from the past are an example of what a mother does in order to encourage and motivate their child. I believe Pauline and Pecola never develop a mother-daughter relationship, where Pecola could trust her mother. Probably, this is why Pecola looks up to these women, who mutually share the trust and life learning experiences.

    Without doubt, Cholly lived a tough childhood that influence the man he is during the novel. Essentially, Cholly's childhood is the main factor that contribute towards his anger and negative attitude. Being abandon by any parents is something that can influence anyone. I think Samson abandon is something that marked Cholly the most. The reason I say this is because Cholly wanted to know who his father was and he even went to look for him. However, his father neglects him and through his tone Cholly seems sad and he is not able to understand Samson.

  5. 1. How do Claudia and Frieda respond to Pecola?
    To this question I wanted to focus on one particular event in the book. When Pecola begins to bleed, signaling her menstruation cycle, the girls seem to admire her. She had now stepped into the stage of women hood and could now feel "loved" by a man. This seemed to isolate Claudia and Frieda, now that they were still "little" girls. For example, when Frieda is touched by Mr. Henry, Claudia instantly gets jealous because she would be the only one who would not experience a man's touch. I have noticed in the reading, that most of the women they mention often lack the love from a man. They are mostly all married and make love to their spouse, but they always wonder what how it actually felt to be loved. On that note, I actually felt pity for most of the characters in the novel.

    2. How do China, Poland, and Miss. Marie respond to Pecola?
    These women are different then the other adults in Pecola's life, maybe because their occupation puts them in a different stand. Anyhow, they are very accepting and do not seem to notice the "ugly" in Pecola. They always welcome her to their place with joy, stories, and songs. The gifts that Pecola receives from them always cheers her mood. I also noticed that the three women and the child are in a sense, perfect for each other. Everyone in town believes that they are "ruined" and forbid their children to hangout with them, but Pecola sees the complete opposite. Just as the women do not see the "ugly" in Pecola that everyone else does.

    3.)Choose a character not listed to expose your thoughts.
    This is not a character, but rather an object. The Mary Jane candy that Pecola buys, brings her joy. Not because it is candy, but because she thinks of the beautiful little blue eyed girl, Mary Jane. The speaker mentions that "To eat the candy is somehow to eat the eyes, eat Mary Jane. Love Mary Jane. Be Mary Jane." On this note, Pecola hopes to have blue eyes because then she would be loved by everybody. This evokes pity, now that the child is slowly falling into her own depression, believing that she is ugly, and only because her own father caused he to believe so. This makes her F.O.I.L character to Claudia, who despised her blue eyed doll and wanted to demolish it. Claudia hates the stereotype that only those with blue eyes were perfect and should be idolized. Unlike Pecola, she believed people had their own beauty.

  6. @ Jazmine--your thoughts are procative. Great concept of linking Miss. Marie as Pecola's mother. In class please expound upon this topic :). The three prostitutes are significant to the text. Interestingly, the three prostitutes cause the reader to question their own morals and values because we like them. Think about it; they are the only ADULTS in the novel, other than Claudia's mother, who show her love, give her affection, and give her attention, which Pecola desperately needs and desires.
    @ Alejandra--Great use of contextual evidence. It is clear you read! You are right about Claudia and Pecola as foils. Additionally, Mary Jane, the candy character, and Jane, from the prologue, are also FOILS to Pecola. How do you think?

  7. @Mr. Rogers
    I agree with you Mr. Rogers because in a sense these women act more like adults. For example, Pauline and Cholly permit for their previous problems to influence their actuall life. I believe their insecurities cause for these characters to not demonstrate affection towards their children. Indeed, I understand and could relate to both characters because everyone goes through hardships, but this should of not influence how they portray affection and love towards their kids. When I think of an adult, I could clearly relate to what these three women did for Pecola, they gave her affection, attention, and love by understanding and listening to her. Also, by caring for Pecola these women can be seem differently by the readers because by reading I only picture women who care and do not focuss on what others have to say. This quote is a perfect example of what I believe they wish Pecola did not have to go through, “They look back on their own youth as a period of ignorance, and regretted theat they had not made more of it” (Morrison 56-57). Clearly, Miss Marie, China, and Poland regretted and wish they had made more out of their youth, probably, this is why they do not neglect Pecola as society. Finally, all three women know and have gone through what it feels to be neglected and seen “diffrenet” by society. This can also contribute to why they relate and undertand Pecola.

  8. @Mr. Rogers
    Definitely Mary Jane is a F.O.I.L character to Pecola because she is very thing Pecola wants to be. Mary is a while girl with blue eyes, automatically with those two characteristics she is put above Pecola. White girls with blue eyes were perceived to be perfect and admirable. On the other hand, Pecola was an "ugly" black girl.
    On the other hand, I don't believe Jane, from the prologue is a F.O.I.L character to Pecola. The prologue in a sense tells the story of the “ugly” girl in Ohio, but it is formatted in a way that could be read to children.

  9. Claudia and Frieda respond to Pecola in a nice manner because they both saw that she did not think of herself inferior to anyone else. Although they did follow the orders of their mother, they did treat her nicely because, like Karen said, they all felt like they belonged in the bottom because they are so used to being pushed around by those that are upper class.

    Mrs. McTeer is a character that raises her children the tough way. She believes that they should be tough so that her children do not get stepped all over even though they are considered lower class. Mrs. MacTeer has been a tough woman and does what she has to do to survive and get her family through the tough times because The Great Depression has just ended. With this said, Mrs. MacTeer can be said to be an ideal black woman that believes in discipline.

  10. 1. Frieda and Claudia respond to pecola in many ways actually; like with compassion,pity, and friendliness. They seem to be one of the only characters that can really understand her to some extent. They realize the issues and conflicts within pecola and the conflicts around her as well. They create a line of friendship even if it was mainly just because the girls were told to do so but as they get to know her and about her life they grow pity and instead of judging her like everyone else did they decide to help her out with the little that they could,which was their faith that maybe they baby will be okay.
    2. Poland, China, and Miss. Marie respond to Pecola with a bond. We can clearly notice their social class and how low and dirty they are known to society. Any who, because of the way society looks at them and the way society looks at Pecola, they can really bond and they make Pecola feel comfortable and loved. It's really sad though, how the people around Pecola can really put her as low as a prostitute knowing that she is an innocent girl with no fault on how she physically looks.
    3. Soaphead Church. He is clearly a very smart man and people grow to confide in him once he becomes a minister. It really caught my attention when he writes a letter to God. When Pecola seeks him for help to get her blue eyes he realizes what the world is coming to and he claims to God that he is not doing his job that it is himself who is doing the job for Him. It just gave me amazement because literally people around that time or with similar conflicts had a mindset like that, with no hope or faith. And then because of their loss of faith they nag to God and maybe blame him. Just by his letter made me feel like I can relate more to their suffering because you can see a "minister's" thoughts towards the situation.