There is really nothing more to say?except why. But since why is difficult to handle, one must take refuge in how. ” Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye Set in Ohio in 1941, In The Bluest Eye tells the story of Pectoral Broadleaved, a black 11-year-old girl who is raped by her father, Coolly. Eliciting sympathy for Coolly might seem impossible, as we will see that his unfathomable act ultimately destroys his daughter and sends her into a schizophrenic state.
However, in the book, author Toni Morrison creates a space Of forgiveness for Coolly and his crime.
By putting an empathetic emphasis on the traumatic incidents that occurred in Coolly Breadboxes past, Morrison creates a timeline of School’s own hurt, beginning with his abandonment as a child. Additionally, Morrison shows how the racism and structural inequalities of the time played a part in School’s wontedness. Developmental Psychology tells us that early childhood experiences often determine how emotionally stable an adult will be (need citation).
Given that point, childhood memories filled with trauma and abandonment will most likely affect one’s life negatively. Trauma in a person’s life will often impair one’s ability to give and receive proper love, which then creates a vicious cycle that shadows over future lovers, husbands and wives, and most crucially, children. Thus, Morrison intentionally depicts the character Coolly, as a victim as well as a perpetrator. Social psychological research is rich with examples of how race adversely affects social perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors.
This paper aims to explain both the why and the how of Piccolo’s rape through a careful examination of some of the events of School)/s past in order o show how Morrison created a sympathetic victim that, while still a child rapist, was not an unfeeling monster. Through her tale, Morrison answers the why as she posits that the origin of evil does not lie within a human being but rather results from the damages of past adversities and trauma. Additionally, this paper will examine the collective consciousness of hurt that racism created in order to show that Coolly experienced both personal hurt and structural hurt.
A detailed description of School’s early years states, ‘When Coolly was four days old, his mother wrapped him in two blankets and one newspaper and laced him on a junk heap by the railroad” (Morrison, 132) School’s mother has abandoned him, his father is nowhere to be seen, and he is left to be raised by a peculiar aunt who has her own idiosyncrasies. Through this description, the reader is able to encounter the depressing grey shadow of School)des life from its beginning and begin to feel bad about his situation.
The introduction of Coolly Breed loves stormy start to life serves to intensify the severity of his early situations as well as leading the minds of the readers closer to the direction of sympathy rather than rational justice for the man ho commits the ultimate crime. As he grows up, Coolly continues to be being the victim of both circumstance and other’s wrongdoing. Morrison gives a two-page long description of an incident that occurred when Coolly has sex for the first time with a girl named Darlene. The description of the incident starts off happily and peaceful, as Coolly and Darlene start cuddling.
He gets caught in the act by TV’0 white men who humiliate them by forcing them to continue as they stood there watching and harassing disrespectfully (cite page number). Subsequently, a shift occurs in Coolly that will end up contributing to the mounded man that he will become. Morrison ends the long description of the incident with, “Coolly, moving faster, looked at Darlene. He hated her. He almost wished he could do it – hard, long, and painfully, he hated her so much” (Morrison, 148) After his aunt has died, Coolly decides to run away and find his father, which leads to another notch of hurt on his belt.
While he hems and haws and tries to explain that he is his father’s son, his father understands immediately and has an unfortunate reaction, yelling at Coolly “Tell that pitch she get her money, Now get the buck auto my face! ” (p. 57) Morrison writes ” … The trace of pain edged his eyes, and he had to use everything to send it away. ” His bowels give way and he messes himself as he sits in the shock of yet another rejection. And that is when Coolly becomes Coolly… “Dangerously free” (159).
Abandoned and rejected, there was nothing more to lose. He’s not tethered to anyone or anything having always lived in a state of “outdoors”. When he rapes Pectoral, he is raping himself, the weak part of him that was whipped by both personal circumstances and being a black boy in sass’s America. This is how he loves. This is how he hates. After these incidents, it becomes clear that the author intends to sympathize with Coolly and seeks to explain his inhumane deeds. She accomplishes this with the use of very vivid language.
Morrison choice of diction reveals her (not so) hidden effort to be more understanding of School brutal behaviors. It is easy to find evidences of such claim as Morrison writes, “He, at any rate, was the one who loved her enough to touch her, envelop her, give something of himself her. But his touch was fatal, and the something he gave her filled the matrix of her agony with death” (Morrison, 206). The hooch of the word “love” from Morrison apparently establishes the justification for School’s committing of rape of his own daughter.
Such choice of diction also implies that Coolly had to do what he did, out of his will to love his own daughter. School’s horrific wrongdoing did indeed snatch away the innocence of his own daughter, but it is shadowed and subverted by the authors use of loving and passionate words. One must understand, however, that this distorted meaning of love does not reflect the kind of love which Pectoral desires. Just because Coolly twisted mind stained by his dark past felt he need to rape Pectoral as a way of showing love does not mean Pectoral wishes to be molested by her own father.
Nevertheless, Morrison uses the necessary choice of vocabularies in the text for the purpose of understanding, rather than blaming. Raping Pectoral might have been the only way Coolly knew how to simultaneously show his daughter his toxic feelings of love and disgust. Although his past is not enough to explain how he comes to rape his own daughter, let alone justify the heinous act, the reader comes to better understand School actions when framed through the lens of Toni Morrison implicated sympathy.
Additionally, while the bad things that happened to Schoolwork individual acts, one can see that, added up, the failure of reconstruction post slavery had a part in messes like Coolly/s life all across the country, a series of individual lives kept chaotic by the circumstances of post slavery “emancipation”. The rape of a child is never acceptable. But Morrison knows that, as do We. But by pointing out the how and why of the crime against Pectoral by her father, Morrison pulls the focus way back to create the possibility of an aperture of sympathy for the whole damn mess.
Cite this Eliciting Sympathy for Cholly Breedlove in The Bluest Eye
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