Prejudice In Toni Morrison's The Piece Of Chocolate

1203 Words5 Pages
Like the milk, the piece of candy is believed to have the power of altering Pecola’s appearance. Morrison offers a vivid insight into the psychological reaction in response to direct racial discrimination, by portraying the character of Claudia. Not prejudiced by the white culture yet, little Claudia has not arrived at the turning point in the development of her consciousness, which would allow her to love “blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned dolls” (14). In Christmas Claudia is offered “a big blue-eyed baby doll” (14) as a gift. She despises the doll and feels offended to receive it. Claudia feels an unconscious hatred towards the doll which is actually the result of her hatred towards the white supremacy. She feels like to tear the doll…show more content…
Before Pecola’s shopping experience to Mr. Yacobowski’s grocery store, there are some moments when Pecola temporarily succeeds in breaking the destructive connection between what she sees and how people see her. When she considers that dandelions are pretty (which are viewed as weeds by other people), she implicitly recognizes that beauty can be create by seeing rather than by being seen. By the same logic, she could redefine herself as beautiful even without blue eyes. Pecola’s shopping experience well serves as a process of internalization of white values. When Pecola walks to the grocery store to buy candy, she encounters “the total absence of human recognition— the glazed separateness” (36). Mr. Yacobowski cannot acknowledge Pecola’s presence as a subject because he simply cannot look at her, “How can a fifty-two-year-old white immigrant storekeeper… see a little black girl?” (36). These are only reinforcements of the influence of the white-beauty standard. After she leaves the grocery store, she briefly experiences a severe anger, but it gives way to shame. But rather than continue this creative act, Pecola gives in and “the anger will not hold; it sleeps. The shame wells up again.” (38) Pecola interprets poor treatment and abuse as her own fault. She believes that the way people observe her is more reliable…show more content…
Racism alienates colored community whereas internalized racism creates dysfunction within the community. At the same time influence of mass culture, which shapes popular values and beliefs, affects defining racial status. White standards have enormous influence on the African Americans especially in terms of defining beauty. White standard has established “whiteness” as the symbol of beauty and therefore Blacks are essentially considered ugly by the mainstream society. The white images of beauty have become the ideal for everyone from Pecola’s community. They however cannot reach this ideal of blond hair, blue eyes and white skin. Therefore they are forced to feel inferior. This implies that they are taught to hate themselves. This is what the evil of colonialism has done to the African Americans in the name of “civilizing mission”. In the novel white’s ideologies as well as their cultural values have culminated into a dangerous trap for Pecola whose life is dominated by ideas and beliefs regarding white beauty – a thing so superficial and
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