Most parents see parts of themselves in their children. They see their own familiar eyes, their sense of humor, and their long legs. Parents desire to nurture their child’s every hope and dream, and also want to raise their children in a safe and secure environment. However, what if a father saw in his daughter everything that he hated in himself? What if this same father never learned to love in a nurturing way from his own parents? The effects would be devastating. Toni Morrison examines such a scenario in her 1970 novel The Bluest Eye through the rape Pecola by her father Cholly Breedlove. The incestuous rape is nearly impossible for a reader to comprehend. While literary critics have postulated that the rape is the soul product of Cholly’s desolate past or an expression of his hatred of women, I argue that Cholly is giving his daughter the only form of love he knows how to express and is simultaneously abusing the image of himself as a child that Pecola embodies.
Taking Refuge in “How:” Dissecting the Motives Behind Cholly’s Rape in The Bluest Eye.
Undergraduate Review, 6, 140-143.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/undergrad_rev/vol6/iss1/25
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