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Quotes

Quote #4

Into her eyes came the picture of Cholly and Mrs. Breedlove in bed. He making sounds as though he were in pain, as though something had him by the throat and wouldn't let go. Terrible as his noises were, they were not nearly as bad as the no noise at all from her mother. It was as though she was not even there. Maybe that was love. Choking sounds and silence. (1.3.54)

Even at such a young age, Pecola reveals her observant nature as she analyzes her parents' lovemaking. Key aspects of the Breedloves are revealed here: Cholly's painful sexual history and the fact that Pauline rarely, if ever, experiences sexual pleasure when with him.

Quote #5

These women hated men, all men, without shame, apology, or discrimination. They abused their visitors with a scorn grown mechanical from use. (1.3.51)

Various characters in the novel view sex in very different ways. For the three prostitutes, sex is not associated with love or romance; rather, it's a way to express hatred of men and to earn a living.

Quote #6

She might wonder again...what it would be like to have that feeling while her husband is inside her. The closest thing to it was the time she was walking down the street and her napkin slipped free of her sanitary belt. It moved gently between her legs as she walked. Gently, ever so gently. And then a slight and distinctly delicious sensation collected in her crotch. As the delight grew, she had to stop in the street, hold her thighs together to contain it. (2.5.7)

When there are sexually pleasurable moments in the novel, they rarely take place between two people. In this scene, Geraldine's pleasure is an accident that occurs while she's alone. There seems to be very little space in her world for female pleasure.

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