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Pauline Breedlove Life

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Character Analysis Paper

Pauline Breedlove (Polly), one of the main characters of the story, who is also the mother of Pecola and Sammy Breedlove and spouse of Cholly Breedlove, can be seen as a violent figure towards her family and seems to have a negative out look on life. The reason behind all this behavior can be better understood if we were to take into account of her past, the time frame this story was in, and which then would bring us to how its affecting others around her. Pauline always seemed to have been troubled. It all began with her foot that she injured as a little girl, she had gotten a nail in it which then left her with a limp. After she started limping her dream of becoming an actress seemed unrealistic because of her flaw. Things didn’t really get much better from that either. She later ended up in Lorain, Ohio with Cholly where she becomes lonely and isolated, she doesn’t fit in with the northern women and understand their mannerism. Later we find out one day while she was at the movies she lost her front tooth from biting down too hard on a piece of candy. Which in the end lead her to believe she was ugly and her husband didn’t help much since he was under the influence of alcohol most of the time. The limp, the loss of her tooth, and the way she felt about her current living situation caused her to not care about herself and its showed in the way she started caring for her house and the her soon to be family. The story is set in the 1940s where blacks weren’t looked upon as that great. At the time Pauline had quit a bit of obstacles blocking her way of becoming an actress. The limp, her missing tooth, her skin color, and looks. Her physical appearance wasn’t up to the ideal beauty which was blond hair, blue eye eyes, and light skinned. Since the story takes places back when racism was still relevant there was nothing for a person like Pauline to look up to, so what she lived with everyday and seeing herself made her to grow self hatred for herself. The self hatred she had made an impact on the people she dealt with in her life. The anger she had deep within her self for not being good enough resulted in the mistreatment of her children and neglected her duties of being a good wife and mother. The viewing of herself as ugly lead to believing her family were ugly too. With the way she viewed life also made her treat her job a certain way, Pauline believed that if she couldn’t make herself beautiful treating her profession would replace that. By working for the Fishers, a white house hold, it caused her to live in a somewhat fantasy world. As opposed to the love and care she showed towards the Fisher family her actual family never received that type of treatment, beatings, fights, and arguments were a constant thing in the Breedlove household. So in the end the reflections on a person’s past can shape them to be who they are. For Mrs. Breedlove it is easily seen that past events caused her to have negative effect on her and the others involved in her life, and with it being back when times were hard especially for African Americans it only made the situation worse, but it all shaped Pauline Breedlove into the person she is.

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