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The shift in narrative in this section moves from Claudia's first person narration of Maureen's arrival at her school and her subsequent friendship with her, and how in particular Maureen is light-skinned, which separates her from the other black girls. Instead of Claudia's voice, the omniscient narrator breaks into the narrative, and tells the reader about certain kinds of women who come to Lorain from other parts of America. These women, the narrator tells the reader, have lived their lives built around their appearance and how they look. They are obsessed with their beauty, going to absurd lengths to maintain the socially-acceptable version of what beauty is:
They hold their behind in for fear of a sway too free; when they wear lipstick, they never cover the entire mouth for fear of lips too thick, and they worry, worry, worry about the edges of their hair.
Note how the repetition of "worry" reinforces how petty these women are, as they "worry" about something as small and pointless as "the edges of their hair." The narrator's feelings about these women are clear. These women want nothing more than to marry so that they can gain a house and then stay in it, having some kind of power and property in life. The introduction of Geraldine is the perfect example of this kind of woman, as she is shown to have sacrificed any sense of her own happiness in her continual quest to meet society's expectations of a beautiful woman. The shift in narrative therefore allows the narrator to disclose to the reader how society's notion of what consistutes being "beautiful" impacted not only impressionable girls, but also adults.
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