Book Notes Spring: The first twigs... Notes from The Bluest Eye

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The Bluest Eye Spring: The first twigs...

The first twigs are thin, green, and supple.

Claudia remembers being whipped by forsythia twigs in the springtime. These whippings hurt worse than being hit by a belt strap or hairbrush. Claudia comes home and sees Frieda lying on the bed crying. Claudia thinks she was whipped, but Frieda tells her about how Mr. Henry touched her budding breasts. She ran outside to tell her parents, and her father beat up Mr. Henry. Mr. Henry ran away as their father was shooting a gun at him. Frieda gets worried because she hears someone sat that she might be "ruined," meaning a girl who has lost her virginity. Claudia and Frieda are confused by this term because they have only heard their mother use it to describe one of the fat prostitutes. Frieda thinks this means she might get fat. She and Claudia know that some of the other prostitutes are thin and they think it is because of all of the liquor they drink. They decide to go find Pecola and try to get some alcohol from her father, as they know he is frequently drunk and will probably have some at his disposal.

Claudia and Frieda go to Pecola's house. When they discover that she is not there, they go to find her at her mother's work place, a house down by the lake. Mrs. Breedlove works for the Fishers down by Lake Shore Park, a well-to-do white community where blacks are not allowed. The Fisher's house is very nice and well kept. Everything is white and shiny, and Mrs. Breedlove is the maid. She idolizes this family and their white ways so much that she shows their daughter more affection than her own daughter.

Topic Tracking: Self-Hatred 6

Claudia and Frieda find Pecola down by the house. They all go inside and wait while Mrs. Breedlove goes into the basement to get the laundry. The Fisher's daughter, who has long blonde hair in pink ribbons, comes in and calls for Polly. This is what she calls Mrs. Breedlove. This annoys Claudia because even Pecola calls her mother Mrs. Breedlove. The girls wait for Mrs. Breedlove to come upstairs. There is a freshly baked berry cobbler sitting by the stove. Pecola goes over to it to touch it and it spills all over the floor and the hot juice splatters on her legs and the little Fisher girl's dress. Mrs. Breedlove comes upstairs, hits Pecola, and scolds her for making a mess out of the floor. She comforts the Fisher girl and tells Pecola, Claudia, and Frieda to get out of the house.

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