Maslow And Pecola's Hierarchy

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However, Both Pecola and the Claudia grew up in the same Lorain, Ohio community where the culture of white beauty ideals were very pertinent, yet the two children had very different outcomes. A researcher in humanistic psychology, Abraham Maslow, stated that, “Basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency… (The organism’s) behavior organized only by unsatisfied needs.” (A.Maslow, “A Theory of Human Motivation, 1943) This suggests that in order to progress to the next step in the hierarchy (shown on the right) one must fulfill the steps below. Maslow’s psychological theory is evident in the novel to prove that it is not only the community that influences the development of the child, but to a large extent, it is…show more content…
Her father had burned down their house and she “had no place to go” (T. Morrison 1970) therefore she had to live with the MacTeers. but “came with nothing. No little paper bag...she just appeared with a white woman and sat down” (T. Morrison 1970), and “gracefully accepted food gifts” (T. Morrison 1970) which show her lack of stable shelter, warmth and food. When at home at night, “Even from where Pecola lay, she could smell Cholly’s Whiskey” (T. Morrison 1970) which suggests her father was an alcoholic causing her fear even at night. Lastly, when at school Pecola was “ignored or despised by teachers and classmates alike. She was the only member of her class who sat alone at a double desk,” which reflects her lack of belonging. Unable in her home environment to have properly achieved stable levels of “Physiological Health”, “Safety” or “Belonging” on ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs’, Pecola couldn’t achieve a sense of self-esteem and therefore self-actualization. Hence, “she, stepped over into madness” (T. Morrison 1970) and spent her days talking to her imaginary friend about her imaginary blue eyes. As Vickroy says, “Pecola’s belief that she has blue eyes more importantly symbolize the trauma of not being loved.” (L.Vickroy, 2002). We see in the novel that Pecola innocently seeks a physical reason for her lack of being loved by her parents and classmates “It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her…show more content…
Morrison 1970) as well as a stable source of food “Three quarts of milk. That’s what was in that icebox yesterday.” (T. Morrison 1970). Claudia's parents made sure she and her sister were safe especially when a visitor behaved distastefully, “I told Mama, and she told Daddy, when Daddy saw him come up on the porch, he threw our old tricycle at his head and knocked him off the porch.” (T. Morrison 1970). In addition, Claudia’s parents showed her much love and care when she was sick “she rubs the Vicks salve on my chest” (T. Morrison 1970) and also gave thoughtful gifts “The big, the special, the loving gift was always a big, blue-eyed Baby Doll” (T. Morrison

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