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Quotes

Quote #1

We stare at her, wanting her bread, but more than that wanting to poke the arrogance out of her eyes and smash the pride of ownership that curls her chewing mouth. (Prologue)

Frieda and Claudia exhibit working-class envy of their snotty neighbor.

Quote #2

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)

Pecola's childlike thought patterns reveal themselves here: she believes that eating the eyes of a white girl could lead to becoming the white girl.

Quote #3

This disrupter of seasons was a new girl in school named Maureen Peal. A high-yellow dream child with long brown hair braided into two lynch ropes that hung down her back. She was rich, at least by our standards, as rich as the richest of white girls, swaddled in comfort and care. The quality of her clothes threatened to derange Frieda and me. (2.4.3)

The girls are jealous of Maureen's beauty, but also her proximity to whiteness.

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