SPRING: Chapter 7 (Seemothermotherisvery…) Summary and Analysis
Chapter 7 (Seemothermotherisverynicemotherwillyouplaywithjane motherlaughslaughmotherlaughla)
Ada and Fowler Williams: Pauline Breedlove’s parents
Chicken and Pie Williams: Pauline’s younger twin brothers
Ivy: a singer in Pauline’s childhood church
The Fishers: the family that hires Mrs. Breedlove as a maid
Ever since Pauline Williams was a child, she felt inadequate because of her crippled foot. A childhood injury left her with a deformity and means of identification, but she felt that no one paid her attention. She was the only child in her large family that did not have a nickname, no one told anecdotes about her, and she had “a general feeling of separateness and unworthiness.” She felt something was missing from her life and that the reason it was missing was her broken foot.
She spent her time cleaning and taking care of the other children in the house. When the other children were old enough to work and leave the house, Pauline, who enjoyed cleaning and cooking, then started to take care of other people’s homes. The one thing that Pauline wanted at this time was a sense of order, and she was able to find this order in cleaning. One day, while sitting on a fence, she was cleaning her nails when she felt something tickling her foot. She looked down, laughing, into the eyes of Cholly Breedlove. Cholly’s gesture gives Pauline the feeling that she is beautiful; “for the first time, Pauline felt that her bad foot was an asset.” Cholly is able to affect Pauline, “just as she had dreamed,” and give her the security that she had longed for.
Cholly and Pauline were married, and they moved up north to Lorain, Ohio. Unfortunately, their marriage started to fall apart. Pauline felt uncomfortable with her clothes and took a job in order to buy new clothes. Cholly was unhappy with these purchases and began to spend more time drinking. Soon they would begin to quarrel, and these vicious quarrels turned into fights. The marriage deteriorated to a point where Pauline spends most of her time at the movies. Things became better when Pauline was pregnant, but then she lost one of her front teeth eating a candy bar, and when Cholly laughed about it, Pauline tried to kill him.
After Sammy was born, Pauline tried to have another baby quickly and told herself she would “love it no matter what it looked like.” But when Pecola was born, Pauline “knowed she was ugly.” Pauline realized that she was too old to believe that life could be like in the movies and was fortunate enough to find work with the Fishers. In her job, she was able to be close enough to the life she had wanted. She still thinks about leaving Cholly, but she can remember the few moments of passion they had had together and cannot bring herself to leave. Whatever happens in the future, Pauline knows that “my Maker will take care of me. I know He will.”
This chapter is devoted to an extended character study of Pauline Breedlove. Reading about her, we find out that she is a much more sympathetic character than in previous chapters because she, like Pecola, had dreams and desires that were destroyed by her marriage to Cholly and her own “ugliness.” However, like the other characters in this novel, she eventually transfers her own inadequacies and faults onto Pecola, and she blames her own family for her problems.
The narration in The Bluest Eye has switched from first person to omniscient several times, depending upon which sort of perspective was necessary. This chapter introduces an entirely new narrative system. A traditional omniscient narrator, which presents events in an unbiased fashion, and Pauline herself (the text in italics) tell the story in this chapter. Therefore, this chapter has the feel of a magazine article; the omniscient narrator’s comments and observations are presented with occasional comments from the “subject,” Mrs. Breedlove.
The previous chapter, written from Claudia’s perspective, portrayed Mrs....
(The entire section is 1,355 words.)