Through Pecola’s character, Morrison draws attention to the negative impacts that the western culture has on the black community. Media, especially during the 1900’s, portrays whiteness as the standard of beauty. Since whiteness is considered superior, white people are automatically considered more attractive, and the appearance of people of other races that deviate from this standard are considered ugly. This brainwashing done by the media is evidently seen through Pecola’s character in the novel. Throughout this novel, this 11-year-old African American girl is faced with many incidences which allow her to believe that because she is not white, she is not considered beautiful, rather ugly. She believes that because she is ugly, it is the core reason to why she is mistreated by the people around her. For example, in an incident where Pecola goes to her local grocery store to buy herself Mary Janes; the white shopkeeper, Mr. Yacobowski, does not even bother to fully acknowledge her presence and resents having to touch her palm to take coins from her. “somewhere between retina and object, between vision and view, his eyes draw back, hesitate, and hover. At dome fixed point in time a sp...
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... Both Pauline and Cholly ravished Pecola’s self-worth. Instead of protecting Pecola from her, her family greatly contributed to her final psychological breakdown.
Pecola, more than anything, wanted to be beautiful and always fantasized about having blue eyes. However, because of the influences that the white-dominant culture had on Pecola through media, they way she was treated by members of her community, and the lack of love she received from her family, she lost her mind. She took a definite step towards insanity and imagined she had actually gotten blue eyes, which were granted to her by Soaphead Church, a magician. Pecola’s desire for blue eyes were so strong, that she could no longer handle the reality that she lived in. So instead she created a fantasy world for herself where she has blue eyes and is finally consider more acceptable in society because of it.
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