Summary and Analysis Summer: Section 2


This frenzied primer excerpt introduces a friend who will play with Jane, the fictional picture-perfect white girl. Pecola has a "friend," too, but hers is not real. It is a hallucination. Pecola's schizophrenia has created an imaginary friend for her because she has no real friends — Claudia and Frieda now avoid her. Not even her mother is a friend. Pauline Breedlove didn't believe that Pecola was an innocent victim of Cholly's drunken rape. She blamed Pecola and that is why Pecola never told her mother about the second rape; Pauline wouldn't have believed that her daughter was an innocent victim in that incident either.

Alone, with no one to turn to, Pecola creates her own imaginary friend, someone who will listen while she talks about her new blue eyes. Everyone, we hear, is jealous of how pretty and "really, truly, bluely nice" they are, so perfect and powerful that not even strong sunlight can force Pecola to blink. She believes they're such blindingly blue eyes that people have to look away when they see her, but the real reason people avoid her, of course, concerns the stigma of incest. Her fantasizing that she now has blue eyes compensates for the nightmare memory of the horrible episode in the kitchen when Cholly forced himself on her, as well as the second time, when she was reading on the couch.

And yet, there's a chance that someone, somewhere, somehow, may have bluer eyes. That possibility bothers Pecola because she wants to have the bluest eyes of all.

Pecola has drowned in madness. She has been destroyed by a cultural perversion that wholly negates the dreams and aspirations of black-skinned, brown-eyed people (girls, in particular) who do not measure up to the blonde, blue-eyed American myth. Because this prejudice is so universal, it often affects even whites who might be considered unattractive by their own Anglican standards if they aren't sufficiently blond or blue-eyed.