Maureen Peal is the new girl in school, who is perky, cute, and represents what Claudia envies, but at the same time fears. Maureen is well-liked because she is attractive and light-skinned. That she is biracial and light-skinned is emphasized in the book.
There is also smugness about Maureen that the reader recognizes, although the girls do not understand immediately. As a result, the reader understands just how shallow Maureen is. Nevertheless, the lightness of Maureen – both literally in terms of her skin and eyes, and figuratively in terms of her self-confidence - contrasts with the insecurity that Pecola and the others feel.
Maureen is charming, wealthy, and well-dressed. Above all, she has the self-esteem that the other girls lack. In part, this is because of her appearance as someone biracial or half-white. Maureen is light skinned with “sloe green eyes, something summery in her complexion, and a rich autumn ripeness in her walk." By comparison, Pecola is described as ugly.
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