| Quote #1
It never occurred to either of us that the earth itself might have been unyielding. We had dropped our seeds in our own little plot of black dirt just as Pecola's father had dropped his seeds in his own plot of black dirt. Our innocence and faith were no more productive than his lust or despair. (Prologue)
In this novel, childhood innocence doesn't produce knowledge or hope.
| Quote #2
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 seems to blame the rape on his inability to express his feelings toward Pecola any other way. Does Morrison's attempt to contextualize Cholly's behavior make you feel more sympathetic toward Cholly? Should we feel sympathetic toward him?
| Quote #3
He would rather die than take his thing out of me. Of me. Not until he has let go of all he has, and give it to me. To me. To me. When he does, I feel a power. I be strong, I be pretty, I be young. (3.7.30)
Pauline associates sex with power.