The Shaping of Character of Pecola Through Her Family and Her Society

The Bluest eyes is the work of Toni Morrison. In this novel we can see that there are many characters that are very interesting to analyze it. Because the characters are very characteristic. We can see at the main character of the bluest eyes, Pecola. Pecola has psychological problem that is very interesting to analyze. So in here I want to analyze the character of Pecola that is shaped from her family and her society. In here the big question for analyze the changing of Pecola’s character: What make Pecola want to have blue eyes and get it until she seems crazy?

And for this question, I use close reading and Psychoanalysis for know about the changing of Pecola’s Character and what the psychology problem in herself.

Psychoanalysis Psychoanalysis studies the often times skewed ways in which the mind expresses feelings. Those feelings range from anxiety and fear to hostility and sexual desire, and they can originate in a range of sources, from the traumas of personal history to the instincts of the body.

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Psychoanalysis is also concerned with the dynamics of interpersonal relations with the way the self is formed through interactions with its familial and sociocultural environment.

Depending on the school of psychoanalysis one heeds, the study of mind’s operation in literature should be concerned either with the unconscious and the instincts or with the family, personal history, and the social world that shapes the self. Several reading strategies emerge from these psychoanalytic theories. A text might be read for the way unconscious material manifests itself through indirect means- images or descriptions that evoke psychological issues.

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The relation between characters might be studied for what they disclose about family dynamics and the way such dynamics shape selves.

A psychoanalysis reading might also attend to such themes or issues as separation, loss, boundaries, fusion with others, and the struggle to form a coherent and functioning self out a damaging context or traumatic personal history. Finally, language itself can be studied as a means of instantiating unconscious processes and working through some of the issues an emerging self faces as it struggles for adult existence or as it seeks to come to terms with disturbing unconscious material. Pecola, her family and her society Pecola is a girl who eleven years old.

Her father is Cholly Breedlove and her mother is Pauline Breedlove and her brother is Sammy. They are a poor family. In the beginning story have been described they have ugliness and describing of their ugliness is very clear. “Mrs. Breedlove, Sammy Breedlove, and Pecola Breedlove–wore their ugliness, put it on, so to speak, although it did not belong to them. The eyes, the small eyes set closely together under narrow foreheads. The low, irregular hairlines, which seemed even more irregular in contrast to the straight, heavy eyebrows which nearly met. Keen but crooked noses, with insolent nostrils.

They had high cheekbones, and their ears turned forward. Shapely lips which called attention not to themselves but to the rest of the face. You looked at them and wondered why they were so ugly; you looked closely and could not find the source. ” (Morrison: 30) Pauline has bad character. She is a mother but she does not like a mother. Even she is more love to her boss’ daughter than her daughter. She feels disgusted to her daughter. She does her daughter like Pecola is not her daughter. She always treat Pecola and through ill treatment makes Pecola hate herself. Cholly, he is worst father.

He is a drinker and he hate her daughter, Pecola. Even he rape Pecola. You can imagine that if there is a father rape her daughter? It shows to us he is worst father in the world. There are some characters that effect Pecola’s character. There are Frieda and Claudia who always love and keep Pecola from enable dangerous from their society. For example when Bay Boy, Woodrow Cain, Buddy Wilson, Junie Bug tried to mock Pecola, Frieda actually helped Pecola and made the black boys go away from them. Since that menstruation… Pecola was in Claudia’s house because she had no house.

Frieda and Claudia are very kind to her. They always play together. At one moment, when Frieda, Claudia and Pecola discussed about what they must do. The first proposal from Frieda to Pecola was go to Mr. Henry’s house to see girlie magazine. Suddenly in middle their discussion, blood was running down in her legs. Claudia was very panic and Frieda suddenly knew what they have to do. “Frieda said, “Oh. Lordy! I know. I know what that is! ” “What? ” Pecola’s fingers went to her mouth.

“That’s ministratin’. ” “What’s that? ” “You know. ” “Am I going to die? she asked. “Noooo. You won’t die. It just means you can have a baby! ” (21) And her mother came and helped Frieda that is helping Pecola. After that happen, in the night they lay down in the bed and Frieda and Claudia awe and respect to Pecola because it means that Pecola is now grown up. There is a question from Pecola “Is it true that I can have a baby now? ” and that question was answered by Frieda and said that “sure”. And Pecola asked again to Frieda “but…how? ” and “”Oh,” said Frieda, “somebody has to love you. ” . and Pecola asked again “How do you do that?

I mean, how do you get somebody to love you? ” but that question was not answered by Frieda because she had been asleep. Somebody has to love you? “Somebody has to love you. ” That is the answer for Pecola where when the maturity that is signed by menstruation and based on the answer of Frieda how Pecola can have a baby. I think that statement “somebody has to love you” make Pecola think about how the way someone loves her. But the fact, there is no one love her include her family. That evidences are her mother didn’t like her, her father and her friends too.

They hate her very much because of her ugliness. From at that time she thought to how the way somebody loves her and actually she has no her own standard of beauty based the standard of beauty generally in America. That is has white skin and has blue eyes. Her mind has been suggested by that standard of beauty. So she wants to have a pair of blue eyes. If she had a pair of blue eyes and can fulfill the standard of beauty, there’s somebody love her. But actually and true fact she did not have blue eyes and can’t fulfill the standard of beauty.

Contrast to Pecola’s longing who want to fulfill the standard of beauty and everyone loves her. She even accept cruel treatment form her society especially from her family. Like I said before, her father and her mother did not like her very much. One day, when Frieda and Claudia visited to Pecola’s house, there is something happen that make Pauline was very anger. “Mrs. Breedlove yanked her up by the arm, slapped her again, and in a voice thin with anger, abused Pecola directly and Frieda and me by implication. “Crazy fool… my floor, mess … look what you … ork get on out now out crazy … my floor, my floor … my floor. “

Her words were hotter and darker than the smoking berries, and we backed away in dread. The little girl in pink started to cry. Mrs. Breedlove turned to her. “Hush’ baby, hush. Come here. Oh, Lord, look at your dress. Don’t cry no more. Polly will change it. ”(85) That borned out that Pauline did not love Pecola very much and she prefer that baby than her daughter, Pecola. Her father is very cruel. He raped her own daughter and this made Pecola thought that her life is very bad and make her frustration.

She thought that if she had a white skin and beautiful girl maybe her mother and her father did not do bad thing to her. So do her friends. Her friends did bad thing to Pecola too. She was ever mocked by black boys (Bay Boy,Woodrow Cain, BuddyWilson, Junie Bug ), “Black e mo. Black e mo. Yadaddsleepsnekked. Black e mo black e mo ya dadd sleeps nekked. Black e mo … ” and Maureen did too “I am cute! And you ugly! Black and ugly black e mos. I am cute! ”. Everything her friends and her family did to Pecola made Pecola hated herself. Her face was very ugly and her body was black skin.

The ugliness from herself have made her think about herself. One day, she has ever seen in front of the mirror and thought that she was really ugly and everyone did not want she is there. “Long hours she sat looking in the mirror, trying to discover the secret of the ugliness, the ugliness that made her ignored or despised at school, by teachers and classmates alike. She was the only member of her class who sat alone at a double desk. The first letter of her last name forced her to sit in the front of the room always. But what about Marie Appolonaire? Marie was in front of her, but she shared a desk with Luke Angelino.

Her teachers had always treated her this way. They tried never to glance at her, and called on her only when everyone was required to respond. ”(Morrison, 37) She thought that how beautiful she is if she has blue eyes. Yeah she wanted to have blue eyes. So their friend like and love her and did not something make her be anger and hate at herself. “Why, look at pretty-eyed Pecola. We mustn’t do bad things in front of those pretty eyes. ” Pretty eyes. Pretty blue eyes. Big blue pretty eyes. Run, Jip, run. Jip runs, Alice runs. Alice has blue eyes. Jerry has blue eyes. Jerry runs. Alice runs.

They run with their blue eyes. Four blue eyes. Four pretty blue eyes. Blue-sky eyes. ”(Morrison, 37) For reach her purpose to get blue eyes, she went to meet Soaphead who work in church. “Do what for you? ” “I can’t go to school no more. And I thought maybe you could help me. ” “Help you how? Tell me. Don’t be frightened. ” “My eyes. ” “What about your eyes? ” “I want them blue. “(Morrison, 146) But Soaphead lies Pecola. He made something that did not make sense. He tried to lie with reaction of the dog. If the dog had strange behavior, it meant that her purpose had been acceded.

She had blue eyes. But the dog behaves strangely and made Pecola thought that she has had blue eyes. In the end, she seemed crazy because she always talk with her own self. She felt she have had a pair blue eyes. The bluest eyes she had than Alice and Jerry in storybooks, bluer than Joanna’s, bluer than Michelena’s. pecola had the bluest eyes than her friends. Pecola and Psychological Problem Psychoanalysis discuss psychological problem in character. Character that loss identity and happen struggle at self to be interesting discussion in The Bluest Eyes novel. The main character is Pecola.

In the beginning story there’s no happen in Pecola’s mind but after she always get ill treatment from her mother, her father and her friends, her character has changed. Her society makes herself change. Pecola does not thank to God upon her body’s condition. Even she hates herself and want to be the other that have blue eyes. Everything she has done include goes to Church to meet Soaphead that she believe can accede her dream want to have a pair of blue eyes. Unfortunately, she is just eleven years old girl and does not know that her condition can’t change because that is nature form birth.

Soaphead is easier to lie her and make her seem crazy because she feel she have had blue eyes and in the end story she seems talk to herself and proud to have blue eyes. How sad she is. “The Bluest Eye portrays in poignant terms the tragic condition of the blacks in racist America. It examines how the ideologies perpetuated by the dominant groups and adopted by the marginalgroups influence the identity of the black women. Bombarded by image of white beauty, Morrison’s characters lose themselves to selfhatred and their only aim in life is to be white.

They try to erase their heritage, and eventually like Pecola Breedlove, the protagonist,who yearns for blue eyes, have no recourse except madness. ”(Bharati, Joshi, 39) Conclusion The bluest eyes is a novel that tell about the tragic condition of the black in racist America. Pecola that have black skin and does not fulfill the standard of beauty feel suffer and do everything to do fulfill that standard although in the end of the story she seems crazy because she has hallucination have a pair of bluest eyes. It show psychological problem at herself. Her family and her society that make her become to want the standard of beauty.

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The Shaping of Character of Pecola Through Her Family and Her Society. (2016, Oct 30). Retrieved from

The Shaping of Character of Pecola Through Her Family and Her Society

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