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Morrison shows an example of the destructive effect of this beauty standard on the character Pecola.When Pecola lives with Claudia and Frieda, the two sisters try to please their guest by giving her milk in a Shirley Temple mug.
In writing about literature or any specific text, you will strengthen your discussion if you offer specific passages from the text as evidence.
Rather than simply dropping in quotations and expecting their significance and relevance to your argument to be self-evident, you need to provide sufficient analysis of the passage.
#1 The negative effect the environment can have on the individual is shown in Morrison’s comparison of marigolds in the ground to people in the environment.
Early in the novel, Claudia and Frieda are concerned that the marigold seeds they planted that spring never sprouted.
She describes doing her hair like Jean Harlow’s and eating candy at a movie. I let my hair go back, plaited it up, and settled down to just being ugly” (123).
Rather than being transported into the romantic heaven of Hollywood, she loses a tooth and ends in despair. Admiring beauty in another is one thing; transferring a sense of self-hatred when a person doesn’t measure is another.Movement provides the solution, although a temporary one, and preserves her sanity.Discrete moments of action preserve her sense of her own strength and offer her new alternatives for the future.Using other people’s perceptions rather than her own, she judges her thoughts to be wrong.Although she senses that her behavior as the “grateful poor female relative” was insincere, she admitted it felt more comfortable.First of all, she is afraid that she might not recognize and feel comfortable with herself in a critical role.She hesitates to pursue her critique, noting to herself, “I was beginning to suspect that I was not the person I was expected to be, and took it as evidence that somewhere I had taken a wrong turning” (116).Pecola Breedlove is a seed planted in the hostile environment, and, when she is not nurtured in any way, she cannot thrive.#2 One effect of the belief that white skin, blonde hair and blue eyes are the most beautiful is evident in the characters who admire white film stars.At that point, the power of white beauty standards becomes very destructive.Although Tambu recognizes the injustices she and Nyasha endure as females, she hesitates to act on her suspicion because of fear.