Study Guide

Cholly Breedlove in The Bluest Eye

By Toni Morrison

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Cholly Breedlove

Cholly is a complex character, with a difficult life that is closely tied to America's racist history. He's got major issues with women, which stem partially from the fact that his mother abandoned him when he was born, but also from the complicated ways that racism and sex have intermingled in his life story.

In the middle of losing his virginity, he is completely humiliated by two white men. He handles this humiliation by men who are socially and legally more powerful than him by turning his rage upon the black women in his life (who are socially and legally less powerful).

Cholly has no role model to teach him how to be a parent or love children. When he becomes a father, he is at a complete loss at what to do. He starts to use alcohol as a way to cope with fatherhood, married life, and the pressure of being the breadwinner, which leads to bouts of violence and the neglect of his family. After Cholly rapes Pecola, his daughter, near the end of the novel, he slips out of view and dies alone at a workhouse.

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