The Bluest Eye
How we cite our quotes:
It never occurred to either of us that the earth itself might have been unyielding. We had dropped our seeds in our own little plot of black dirt just as Pecola's father had dropped his seeds in his own plot of black dirt. Our innocence and faith were no more productive than his lust or despair. (from second Prologue)
Here Claudia looks back on her innocence as being literally unfruitful. While there is something undeniably sweet and ethical about the girls planting the seeds, Claudia reveals herself to be a particularly realistic (if not pessimistic) kind of narrator here, as she claims that her innocence and faith produced nothing good in Pecola's life.
She eats the candy, its sweetness is good. To eat the candy is somehow to eat the eyes, eat Mary Jane. Love Mary Jane. Be Mary Jane. (1.3.33)
The simple language here matches the simplicity of Pecola's desire to be innocent, beautiful, and good.
Pauline and Cholly loved each other. He seemed to relish her company and even to enjoy her country ways and lack of knowledge about city things. He talked with her about her foot and asked, when they walked through the town or in the fields, if she were tired. Instead of ignoring her infirmity, pretending it was not there, he made it seem like something special and endearing. For the first time Pauline felt that her bad foot was an asset. And he did touch her, firmly but gently, just as she had dreamed. But minus the gloom of setting suns and lonely river banks. She was secure and grateful; he was kind and lively. She had not known there was so much laughter in the world. (3.7.14)
This idyllic scene is one of the few truly innocent moments we get in the novel. It makes us wonder what the Breedloves' relationship might have been like if they had lived in a different time and place.