In The Bluest Eye, candy seems to be associated with both shame and sexuality. What is Morrison saying with these images?

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teachertaylor | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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As a symbol, candy is a reference that we typically associate with children and all the connotations of childhood:  joy, purity, and innocence.  Placing candy as a symbol in scenes that center around shame regarding identity and sexuality challenges our perceptions of how we justify feelings of shame.  When Pecola buys Mary Janes from Mr. Yacobowski, he is disgusted by the thought of touching her hand, and Pecola internalizes this shame.  But should she?