| Quote #7
What could he do for her – ever? What give her? What say to her? What could a burned-out black man say to the hunched back of his eleven-year-old daughter? If he looked into her face, he would see those haunted, loving eyes. The hauntedness would irritate him – the love would move him to fury. How dare she love him? Hadn't she any sense at all? What was he supposed to do about that? Return it? How? (3.8.87)
Cholly's self-hatred seems to rear its head right before he rapes Pecola. He doesn't understand how such an innocent creature could love him.
| Quote #8
Once there was an old man who loved things, for the slightest contact with people produced in him a faint but persistent nausea. (3.9.1)
Soaphead Church believes that his "nature" is to love objects and not people. This misanthropy leads him to become attracted to young girls.
| Quote #9
Love is never any better than the lover. Wicked people love wickedly, violent people love violently, weak people love weakly, stupid people love stupidly, but the love of a free man is never safe. There is no gift for the beloved. The lover alone possesses his gift of love. The loved one is shorn, neutralized, frozen in the glare of the lover's inward eye. (4.11.8)
Wow, this passage is intense. Here it seems that the way that people love, and the quality of their love, is tied to their personalities. What do you think is being said here? Do you agree with its assessment of love?