Summary and Analysis Summer: Section 3


The time is the present. Claudia tells us that Sammy Breedlove left town, Cholly died in a workhouse, and Mrs. Breedlove is still doing housework for whites. She herself has attempted to understand her role in Pecola's tragedy because the destruction to Pecola was absolute and complete. The baby was born prematurely and died. Afterward, Pecola's bizarre and erratic behavior forced people either to look away or laugh out loud; Claudia and Frieda simply avoided her. Earlier, Pecola's passive ability to be wounded allowed Maureen to gloat with superiority and allowed Geraldine to hiss, "You nasty little black bitch." Mr. Yacobowski's "glazed separateness" placed Pecola outside of the realm of human recognition, and even the bizarre Soaphead Church saw her as an ugly little black curio whom he could use. Claudia's revelation that Cholly was the only one who loved Pecola enough to touch her underscores that he alone — even in his own violent, perverted way — understood the agony of the fixed, penetrating presence of the untouchable and intrusive white society. The devastating power of racial contempt and self-hatred has caused Pecola, a mere child, to literally self-destruct in her quest for love, self-worth, and identity.


Moirai In classical Greek mythology, they are the Fates, the goddesses of birth and death.