The Bluest Eye Winter: My daddy's face...
My daddy's face is a study.
Claudia describes her father's face as being very cold and harsh like winter. Claudia tells about a new girl in school named Maureen Peal. She is very beautiful. She is described as being somewhat more "white" than other black people, with her lighter skin, longer hair, and lighter eyes (even though they are dark green). Although Claudia and Frieda are jealous of her beauty, wealth, and charm over classmates and even teachers, they are not envious of Maureen's whiteness.
One day, Maureen attempts to talk to Claudia and Frieda, to be friends with them. Although Claudia and Frieda outwardly put Maureen down (by calling her names like Meringue Pie and other little annoyances), they secretly want to be friends with her. The three girls start to walk home from school one day when they see Pecola surrounded by a group of boys, Bay Boy, Woodrow Cain, Buddy Wilson, and Junie Bug. The boys are harassing Pecola and calling her names. They are ashamed of their own blackness and thus take it out on Pecola.
"It was their contempt for their own blackness that gave the first insult its teeth. They seemed to have taken all of their smoothly cultivated ignorance, their exquisitely learned self-hatred, their elaborately designed hopelessness and sucked it all up into a fiery cone of scorn that had burned for ages in the hollows of their minds - cooled - and spilled over lips of outrage, consuming whatever was in its path." pg. 65
Pecola cries at the boys harassing her. Frieda jumps in and tell them to leave her alone. Soon, Claudia, and even Maureen stick up for Pecola. The boys leave and the four girls begin to walk home. They stop for ice cream, but only Maureen can afford it. She buys one for Pecola, and Claudia and Frieda stare at it with envy. While walking back, they pass a theater with a picture of Betty Grable on it. Maureen says that she thinks Betty Grable is great, and Pecola agrees. Claudia on the other hand, says that she thinks Hedy Lamarr is better.
Maureen asks Pecola if she has seen her father naked (she heard the boys say this to Pecola). Pecola denies this, even though she knows it is true. Claudia and Frieda get into a fight with Maureen for saying that it is shameful to see one's own father naked. They are sticking up for Pecola, but also deep down they are defending themselves, as they too have seen their own father naked. Claudia insults Maureen's appearance, and Maureen yells, "'I am cute! And you ugly! Black and ugly black e mos. I am cute!'" pg. 73 Maureen runs away from them, Pecola walks off, and Claudia and Frieda make their way home.
When they arrive home, they are greeted by Mr. Henry, who seems uneasy and quick to get the girls out of the house. He gives them money for ice cream, but they decide to get potato chips and end up back home sooner than Mr. Henry had expected. They arrive home and see Mr. Henry in the window with two prostitutes. Claudia and Frieda hide in the grass as the two women leave. When Frieda asks who the two women were, Mr. Henry lies and says that they were part of his Bible study class. He tells them not to tell their mother that they were over, and Claudia and Frieda agree not to. They start to cook turnips and eat graham crackers, as they wait for their mother to come home.