Pecola Breedlove is a fragile and delicate child but as the novel progresses, her character seems to deteriorate even further as a result of her harsh athome life and the dark views of society that surround her. It is from a young age that society teaches
Pecola that “The Bluest Eyes” are the most superior because dark features are signs of ugliness and degradation. Because Pecola has dark skin and dark eyes, she is subject to the classic racist views of society. It is here, as an adolescent, that Pecola’s overall selfesteem begins to deteriorate and her selfhatred begins to grow. Pecola wishes for the bluest eyes but when this does not come true, she is left yearning for the impossible. Pecola falls into a fantasy like state by believing she may one day gain blue eyes. This immature mindset is used to distort the harsh realities of her life. Pecola is brought up in a time where young, white girls like Shirley Temple are idolized for having light skin and blue eyes so by having dark features one is considered “ugly”. Pecola’s desperation to obtain the white beauty features becomes so strong that she begins to
eat Mary Jane candies believing that they will turn her into the perfect little white child.
Pecola’s fantasy like state is a result of her unloving at home life. Being raised by two parents who show little or no affection towards one another or their children, along with being tormented by societies hateful views, has a great affect on a child’s selfesteem, and overall mindset. All Pecola wants is to be accepted and loved but because she is never shown this as a child, those same desires continue to destroy her even as an adult. She never believes she has any self worth and it is because of the way she was raised by her parents and society.
Like Pecola Breedlove, Claudia Macteer is another child faced with the racist beauty standards of society but she, unlike Pecola has a loving family. Where as
Pecola is weak, Claudia is a fighter. She does not agree with the racist beauty standards of society and often challenges them. When Claudia recieves a white baby doll as a gift, she destroys it. Claudia is one…