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Quotes

Quote #1

Frieda and she had a long conversation about how cu-ute Shirley Temple was. I couldn't join them in their adoration because I hated Shirley. (1.1.35)

Claudia uses the example of Shirley Temple to differentiate herself from Frieda and Pecola, and what she perceives as their internalized racism.

Quote #2

Adults, older girls, shops, magazines, newspapers, window signs – all the world had agreed that a blue-eyed, yellow-haired, pink-skinned doll was what every girl child treasured. (1.1.39)

American culture promotes the idea that whiteness should be desired.

Quote #3

Occasionally an item provoked a physical reaction: an increase of acid irritation in the upper intestinal tract, a light flush of perspiration at the back of the neck....The sofa, for example. It had been purchased new, but the fabric had split straight across the back by the time it was delivered. (1.2.6)

An ugly sofa becomes a symbol of poverty.

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