I father figure. So he does not know

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I believe, Cholly will be the strongest example
in showing the impact of parental neglect. In The Bluest Eye, Morrison
vividly depicts the antagonism between blacks, whites and mulattos. However,
we would do well not to regard Cholly as a representative of the black man’s
stereotype. The situation of parents not knowing how to face child rearing
perhaps stems not a little from slavery. In the era of slavery, families are
sold separately, or forced to propagate themselves regardless of their will
like domestic animals. For a long time, black people had been deprived of the
choice to live according to their own free will or fully develop their family
ties. They were often deprived of the knowledge of where their parents or
relatives were. Regarding this background, Cholly can be seen as a
representative of this genealogy. In this novel, he seems to embody what it is
like for a person to be abandoned by one’s parents, and it is a universal issue
rather than a difficulty found only among black people. His father ran away
from his mother before his birth, and he was discarded on a rubbish heap within
a few days of his birth by his mother. Cholly is the only one in this novel who
was really deserted at birth. However, it is obvious and significant that his
youth is depicted in a much more humanistic light in comparison with Pauline,
Pecola, Geraldine, and Soaphead Church. It is because he was brought up with
love and care by his great-aunt. Even though he was not satisfied with her old
appearance and unsophisticated manners, he loved and thanked her. He was a
loveable boy with healthy emotions and consideration for others. The reason why
he really loved his grand-aunt, old Blue Jack, or temporarily his wife Pauline,
his son Sammy, and his daughter Pecola was that he was not raised like
Geraldine who was forced to deny her roots, or like Pauline who was always
treated like an absentee, or like Soaphead Church who was physically disciplined
to be a member of the elite as a descendant of nobility. He was raised with
real love and care. However, his great-aunt’s love was too different from both
in aspects of age and sex to serve as a father figure. So he does not know how
to handle his wife or children even though he loves them. His first experience
in having his personality attacked was when he was having his first sexual
experience watched by two white men pointing a gun at his back. To fight
against white men who have guns would mean instant death, so in order to
protect his life and self-esteem, he transferred his failure and impotence to
hatred toward the witness, his first girl friend. However, he does not lose his
control completely then, and he decides to visit his father who he believes
will understand his situation and feelings. The hope that his father will understand
him narrowly sustained his personality even though he knows that his father
left his mother before his birth. He is completely deprived of his self-control
when he is rebuffed by his father when he visits him, and the father ignored
him. And this leaves him “dangerously free.”(p.159) Just following his mood to
go, he kills people, behaves gently or violently to women, or sometimes allows
himself to be henpecked by them. He has nothing to love, to be proud of, or to
be afraid of, even the death of people around him or his own death is nothing
to him. If a person has something or someone to love, protect, or to be afraid
of, even though it may be a trifle, that person’s behavior has limits in some
ways, but Cholly has nothing at all. Morrison depicts this process carefully
and vividly in great detail and proves that Cholly was far from an unnatural
man. Cholly’s longing and respect for his father is obvious in such descriptions
as: “Cholly had always thought of his father was a giant of a man,” “he was
staring at a balding spot in his father’s head, which he suddenly wanted to
stroke.” “He couldn’t say, ‘I’m your boy.’ That sounded
disrespectful.”(pp.155-156) And that the fatal shock which destroys his
personality resulting from his rejection by his father is embodied by the
depiction of his incontinence. In The Bluest Eye all the main characters
except the McTeer family are suppressed or marginalized by their parents in
some ways, but Cholly is the only one who completely negated his existence. It
is very suggestive and ironic that his family name is Breedlove, even though he
does not know how to breed children or how to breed love. Occasionally he feels
love for his wife and children, but the feeling of love for someone or 

Categories: Emotions


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