By Toni Morrison
Compare and contrast Claudia and Pecola in terms of their ability to fight injustice. How does this ability affect them later in the novel?
It is not hard to notice the contrast between Claudia’s method to fight injustice and Pecola’s method. Claudia is a fighter and incredibly brave. She will not let the community that she lives in destroy her life. Therefore, she speaks up when she considers that something is unfair and wrong.
Unlike Claudia, Pecola is used to not getting any love or attention from her parents. She does not know how to get anyone to love her, which is stated in the novel on page 23. Pecola is also very aware of the fact that people sees her as ugly and that her suffering makes the community feel somewhat lucky. That is the reason she starts living in her own fantasy world.
Claudia is giving a white baby doll as a Christmas gift, even though she does not want it. She analyzes the doll while asking herself where the beauty is located. She cannot understand what her community sees in people like Shirley Temple, nor the doll. For that reason, she decides to destroy it, and one can tell that her action portrays some jealousy.
In contrast of Claudia, Pecola does not have the emotional strength to defend herself. She gets harassed by both kids and adults and she just puts up with it. She somehow feels defeated without a fight because of her low self-esteem. She slowly starts to create another world in her mind. “Pecola edged around the circle crying. She had dropped her notebook, and covered her eyes with her hands.” (50)
Pecola Breedlove does not have the self-esteem to contest the injustices she faces from whites. In an effort to be accepted by whites, and furthermore by her family, Pecola longs to conform to Western ideals of beauty presented by whites, especially white, blue-eyed movie stars like Shirley Temple. Pecola believes that by habitually praying for blue eyes whites would perceive...