In the book The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, who is Geraldine? Why did Geraldine call Pecola an ugly name?

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In Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Geraldine represents the middle class black woman who hates her own race because she has internalized white society's racism. She resents being black and has low self-esteem. Although she is not as poor as other black people in her town, she is not happy and seems to prefer her cat to her own son, Junior. When she comes home to find that her son, who is not allowed to play with black children, has brought over a little girl with very dark skin, she is disgusted by her for being black and poor and calls her a "nasty little black bitch". However, Geraldine is actually reacting to her own hatred for herself. She resents the fact that she is black in a white dominated society, and Pecola's presence reminds herself of who she truly is. Since she sees Pecola as below her, it's easy for her to use Pecola as the scapegoat and take her frustrations out on her.

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mkcapen1 | Student

In the book by Toni Morrison "The Bluest Eye" Pecola gets picked on by almost everyone because of her dark skin.  She is told that she is ugly by her father and yet he still rapes her. 

Geraldine is Juniors' mother.  Junior tricks Pecola into going to his home saying he has kittens to show her. He throws his mother's black cat onto her and makes her scream.  When he finds out that she is not scared after he closes the door, he tries to get the cat away.  They struggle and the cat is flung behind a radiator and it does not move.  Geraldine hears the commotion and enters the room.

Junior tells her that Pecola killed the cat.  Geraldine finds the girl's appearance disgusting. To Geraldine, Pecola is a collective unit of the poverty and degradation of the black female who grows up so poor with 6 children to a bed.  Geraldine is very clean and orderly.

She calmly tells Pecola. "Get out, her voice quiet," you nasty little black bitch.  Get out of my house."(92)

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