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Quotes

Quote #4

"Oh, Claudia, you're jealous of everything." (3.6.8)

Claudia gets upset when Mr. Henry touches Frieda instead of her, revealing a key aspect of her character. Claudia is consistently inquisitive and hungry for new experiences throughout the novel. We aren't quite sure if she wishes this had happened to her or if she wishes there were some magical way that she could know what it felt like.

Quote #5

Pauline felt uncomfortable with the few black women she met. They were amused by her because she did not straighten her hair....Their goading glances and private snickers at her way of talking (saying "chil'ren") and dressing developed in her a desire for new clothes. (3.7.18)

Pauline's jealousy is aroused by other black women judging her. Like her daughter, Pauline believes that if she alters her appearance people will treat her differently.

Quote #6

She came into her own with the women who had despised her, by being more moral than they....She joined a church where shouting was frowned on....She stopped saying "chil'ren" and said "childring" instead. She let another tooth fall, and was outraged by painted ladies who thought only of clothes and men. (3.7.25)

There is a trend in the novel of characters starting in one emotional state (say, Cholly's anger at the white men who humiliate them) and sublimating those emotions into ones that are easier to handle. Here Pauline takes her jealousy of other women and turns it into martyrdom.

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