Self Hatred Essay

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Geraldine is ashamed of her blackness and straightens her hair to hider any African features.

Geraldine is loving and affectionate to her cat, who has black fur and blue eyes, but is distant and cold towards her son, Junior.

She creates distinctions between herself and Junior, and less economically privileged black people.

Geraldine also uses colorism to distinguish herself within the black community.

Geraldine holds her dead, blue-eyed cat, and staring at Pecola in her tattered clothes and muddy shoes, calls her a "nasty little black bitch" and bans her from the house.

Both Geraldine's and Junior's shame and internalized racism cause them to be cruel to Pecola.

However, Junior's loneliness and shame at not being able to connect with his blackness leads him to eventually becoming cruel and disdainful towards the black children with whom he had wanted to play .

When Junior invites Pecola, a dark-skinned, abused, and low income black girl into his house, he throws the blue-eyed cat at her face and then proceeds to accidentally kill the cat, which he blames on Pecola when Geraldine returns home.

Junior internalizes his mother's lack of affection towards him by tormenting the cat.

The cat represents black people who wish to assimilate into whiteness.


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