Unit Response Paper 2
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Unit Response Paper 2
Comparison between Claudia and Pecola
In the novel, The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison has mentioned the life story of a young black girl who is brought up in the hometown of Morrison of Lorain, Ohio after the Great Depression. In this novel, Toni has highlighted the struggle of a young child who went through an interview with Toni that she could not forget. She talks about child molestation, racism, domestic violence. At the same time, she shines a light on the harshness of life that Pecola went through. With the advancement of the novel, it is revealed that Pecola has been regarded ugly throughout her life for her mannerism and black skin. Different characters are being sketched by Toni Morrison in this novel. There are similarities and differences among various characters but the characters that are selected for making a comparison are Pecola Breedlove and Claudia. This fact cannot be denied that every character has its specialties that distinguishes one from the other but in the case of Claudia and Pecola, there are certain similarities between the two characters and at the same time, there would be witnessed some contrasting factors as well.
Similarities between Claudia and Pecola
Primary similarity that could be witnessed in both the characters is that both are young Black girls who went through a same type of trauma in their life. Both of the characters belong to a Black family. Both Pecola and Claudia became victims of racism because of their black skin and were treated badly by those for whom having white skin and black eyes mean one is praiseworthy (Moon,et,al,2018). They both were young girls so there was some commonality between their ideology as well. They used to be targeted by society and were criticized for being black. Another similarity is that they both belonged to a similar kind of family.
Claudia and Pecola grew up having the same kind of environment and atmosphere as they both belonged to poor families. Technically, both these characters share another common factor which was that they both were the narrators of this novel. Both characters suffered from racist beauty standards as well as material insecurity. The major similarity that has been witnessed in these characters are that both narrate the story and let the reader know what they both are suffering from and what is the perception and attitude of the society they are living in. Both Claudia and Pecola help in teaching a lesson to others, though the lesson is different but they both are educating others about the realities and dealings of life.
Both Pecola and Claudia are playing the role of the messengers (one is a messenger of hope and other is messenger of suffering). After critically analyzing the actions of both the characters, it won't be wrong to say that both of them saved their community in one manner or the other. Claudia inspired others to raise voice against the injustices and encouraged them to fight against the false standards that have been made by the society. On the other hand, Pecola by becoming the scapegoats saved her society as her suffering and pain made others realize that they are somehow lucky as they are suffering less than her.
Difference between Claudia and Pecola
After critically analyzing this novel "The Bluest Eyes" one could witness a number of differences that exist between the two characters. One of the most captivating differences that could be seen in both the characters is that Claudia is proud of belonging to the black community, who is happy with her dark eyes and skin color. On the other hand, it could be seen that Pecola Breedlove is a pessimist and passive character who is ashamed of her black skin and wants to make changes to her body so that she would be appreciated by the society.
The second difference that makes Claudia different from Pecola is that they both have contrasting families; Claudia's family loves her and they are very supportive of each other. She has a loving family who want to protect each other from the criticism and injustice of the society in which people are parted based on their color. In the case of Pecola, she has a discouraging family and most of the time she witnesses her parents fighting. She is not at all protected and supported by her family rather she is abused by her parents. Pecola's father is violent and after being humiliated several times he used to take out his frustration by abusing and hurting women in his life (Williams,et,al,2018). Her mother was also a lonely and cold woman who was not happy with her skin and was suffering from many other complexes. Both the families were opposite of each other. Ideology and mentally could be seen as another factor that makes the two characters different from each other. Pecola has been portrayed as a symbol of self-hatred member of the black community who wishes to changes their life and desires of having white beautiful skin and blue eyes. Pecola got a complex from the white people as compared to Claudia who does not want to change anything in her body and is a proud black woman.
Claudia provides support for other blacks rather Pecola is a victim who is being protected by Claudia and her sister. The suffering of both characters always makes them different. Claudia was tortured and efforts were made to make her believe that she is ugly because of her skin color but she was the one who did not accept the criticism rather fought with the society and never hated herself. On the other hand, Pecola suffered a lot as she did not restrict any of the criticism and torture and accepted the allegation that being born with black skin is a crime that they have to pay off.
Both the characters took the criticism of the society in two different ways. Claudia did not bother herself with society’s comments and believed in herself while Pecola was suppressed by the taunts of society. Claudia never took into account the criticism and did not let the society decided who she was. She did not allow society to judge her on a false basis, which decides whether she is included in the list of the beautiful people or not. Whereas, Pecola has been sketched as a passive, submissive and mysterious character who let the society dominate her. Pecola let the society decide the standard of beauty and let herself become the victim of an inferiority complex.
Another major difference that could be witnessed in both the characters are Claudia narrates some parts of the novel (De Freitas,et,al,2018). She describes that novel from the perspective of a child sometimes and at some points, she narrates the novel from the point of a black adult. After critically digging the details of the novel, it could be said that Claudia is a fighter whereas Pecola is the loser who does not fight against society. The fighting attitude of Claudia could be witnessed when she rejected to take the white doll that she was a gift. She used to destroy the toys that made her become more concerned about her black skin i.e. dolls with blue eyes and white skin.
Claudia is being portrayed as a brave character who is courageous enough to question the society if she disagrees with their perceptions while Pecola has been sketched as a coward who let other define what suppress her. Claudia was someone who taught others how to negate the thoughts that discourage one but on the other hand, Pocola was someone who made others realize that they are lucky as their suffering is much less than her. Pecola was the scapegoat for the rest of the community as her ugliness used to make another think that they are beautiful. Pecola's silence gave the opportunity of speaking to society. Analysis of both these characters shows that their family’s attitude and bonding was the driving force that made these two characters different from each other. Positive attitude of Claudia’s family portrayed her as a positive character whereas negative attitude of Pecola’s parents pushed her in to the darkness of inferiority. There are differences that one could find in both the characters but one of the primary differences was that Pecola suffered from the inferiority complex while no such feeling could be found in Claudia. It won't be wrong to say that the dialogue, action, and bonding of both the characters gives a clear indication of how different or similar they are. So, as a whole, it could be said that both the characters (Pecola and Claudia) are having a few of the similarities and differences that a reader could note by taking a look at both. Both are the part of the same society but their dialogue, actions, perception and bonding with family are different from each other. It has been witnessed throughout this novel that there are certain characteristics and qualities that distinguish these two characters from the rest.
De Freitas, Sandra. "A Psychoanalytical Study on the Importance of Skin Tone in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye." (2019).m and Social Critique in Morrison's The Bluest Eye." Studies in American Fiction 45.1 (2018): 91-117.
Moon, Jina. "Beyond Heteronormativity in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye and Home." 영어영문학 64.1 (2018): 61-76.
Williams, Jessica Horvath. "Unlike the Average Mental Disability as Narrative Form and Social Critique in Morrison's The Bluest Eye." Studies in American Fiction 45.1 (2018): 91-117.
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