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Quotes

Quote #7

But the dismembering of the dolls was not the true horror. The truly horrifying thing was the transference of the same impulses to little white girls. The indifference with which I could have axed them was shaken only by my desire to do so. To discover what eluded me: the secret of the magic they weaved on others. What made people look at them and say, "Awwwww," but not for me? The eye slide of black women as they approached them on the street, and the possessive gentleness of their touch as they handled them. (1.1.43)

Here Claudia uncovers one of the reasons for dismembering the white dolls – she is truly envious of their allure. As we see throughout the novel, Morrison complicates a simple emotion like jealousy by linking it to something else: curiosity. Claudia's envy isn't detached or simply emotional; jealousy drives her curiosity to know why exactly one set of racial features would be privileged over another.

Quote #8

When she was assigned a locker next to mine, I could indulge my jealousy four times a day. (2.4.6)

This is a great moment, where Morrison nails just how perversely pleasurable jealousy can be. Although it drives Claudia nuts, she also really likes plotting against Maureen. Jealousy is a guilty pleasure, like emotional ice cream.

Quote #9

Along with the idea of romantic love, she was introduced to another – physical beauty. Probably the most destructive ideas in the history of human thought. Both originated in envy, thrived in insecurity, and ended in disillusion. (3.7.22)

Romantic love seems to feed on jealousy.

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