One moment that shows Claudia fighting for herself relates to the dolls she gets for Christmas. According to Claudia, adults would inevitably get her a “big, blue-eyed Baby Doll.” The grownups assumed that this was what Claudia wanted—that it was her “fondest wish.” In reality, Claudia does not treasure the dolls. She finds sleeping with them uncomfortable and holding them unrewarding. To demonstrate her distaste for the dolls, and the ideology that they represent, Claudia destroys them. In a sense, she aggressively fights for her right to not be the kind of girl who idolizes a white baby doll.
Shortly after Claudia asserts her power over the baby dolls, she defends herself (plus Frieda and Pecola) after Rosemary accuses them of “playing nasty.” As Claudia and Frieda’s mom punishes all three of them, Claudia speaks up, “She was bleeding. We was just trying to stop the blood!” Claudia’s words end the beatings, restore the truth of the situation, and propel Mrs. MacTeer to help Pecola deal with her first period.
For another instance in which Claudia aggressively fights for herself and Pecola, check out her conflict with Maureen. The incident starts with Maureen pestering Pecola about what happened with her dad. Once Claudia sticks up for Pecola, Maureen insults Claudia. Claudia fights for herself and Pecola by trying to punch Maureen, throwing her notebook at her, and, with Frieda, shouting the most powerful insult that they knew. One of Claudia’s top priorities is to protect Pecola from the many uncharitable children and adults in Lorain.