As the previous educator mentioned, the surname is ironic, not only because of the destructive way in which the Breedloves demonstrate love to each other, but also because that destructive behavior is a manifestation of their self-hatred, which results from internalized racism.
Cholly only knows how to express love through sex because he never learned to value himself beyond his virility. Morrison uses this character to explore the ways in which black men are objectified in a society that is obsessed with their sexuality.
Pauline, Cholly's wife and Pecola's mother, is unable to express maternal love to her daughter due to the way in which childbirth, among black women, was regarded less as birthing than as breeding. There is a scene in the novel in which a doctor brings in medical students to observe Pauline in labor and compares her labor to that of farm animals. This birthing experience is connected to the dehumanization that black women experienced during slavery when their birthing...
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