Notes on Objects & Places from The Bluest Eye

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The Bluest Eye Objects/Places

marigolds: The flowers that everyone in Claudia's neighborhood had planted. Claudia and Frieda were going to sell the seeds for money, but when they found out that Pecola was pregnant, they decided to bury them. If the flowers bloomed, it would be a sign that everything was going to be all right with Pecola and her baby. As it turned out, these flowers did not blossom that fall.

Greta Garbo and Ginger Rogers: Two white American female movie stars who symbolize ideal beauty. Charmingly, Mr. Henry tells Claudia and Frieda that they look like these two actresses, and the two girls are very happy with this comment.

outdoors: A type of situation Claudia describes. It is when you have no home and nowhere to live. It is a permanent and dreadful condition. Pecola and her family were put outdoors by Cholly Breedlove, Pecola's father, and because he did this to his own family, Claudia sees this as the worst condition one could be put in.

Shirley Temple: With her blonde curly hair and blue eyes, she is a cultural icon of a beautiful white child. She is a popular young actress and adored by many in the late 1930s and early 1940s. However, Claudia hates Shirley Temple because Claudia does not resemble her at all. Eventually though, she learns to love Shirley Temple, as a means of dealing with her anger towards white ideals of beauty.

Mary Janes: Type of candy Pecola buys at Mr. Yacobowski's store. She admires the little girl of Mary Jane on the wrapper with her blonde hair and blue eyes. Pecola thinks that if she eats the candy, then maybe she will transform into the little girl.

Betty Grable: A white American female movie star. Her blonde bombshell look made her desired by many men as a pin-up girl during World War II. Maureen and Pecola note their admiration for Betty, while Claudia disagrees.

Hedy Lamarr: A white American female movie star of the 1930s and 1940s. Claudia notes that she prefers Hedy, who has dark hair, to a movie star like Betty Grable, who has blonde hair.

Lake Shore Park: The well-to-do white community where the Fishers live, the family that Pauline Breedlove works for. No blacks are allowed here, unless they are the employees of a family.

Jean Harlow: American female movie star of the 1930s. Before Marilyn Monroe, she was the model for Hollywood's blonde bombshell. Pauline Breedlove envies her and tries to fix her hair like Jean's.

Macon: Where Cholly's real father supposedly lives. Cholly runs away after Aunt Jimmy's funeral to go and try to find his father in Macon.

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