In the article Taking Refuge in “How:” Dissecting the Motives Behind Cholly’s Rape in The Bluest Eye by Rebecca Andrews, Andrews talks about the motives behind Cholly raping Pecola. This article shows how Andrews believes “… that Cholly is giving his daughter the only form of love he knows how to express…” In order for the us to understand the rape scene they would have to understand his past. Before he was even born his dad had abandoned his mother when she found out she was pregnant and nine days after he was born his mom leaves him in a trash pile. He was left to grow up with his Aunt Jimmy who he had a tough time viewing as a real parent.
“…When she made him sleep with her for warmth in the winter and he could see her old wrinkled breasts in her nightgown— then he wondered whether it would have been just as well to have died. ” (132) If he looked at her as an actual parent he wouldn’t have thought about it like that but instead he would have thought about it in a good way. Usually kids look forward to sleeping with their mothers but not him; he saw it in a bad way. His first encounters with parenting caused him to understand at a young age “that a parent/child relationship is not necessarily one that is filled with love.” (Andrews)
He was never taught how to have a good parent child relationship therefore he wouldn’t have been able to have one with his own children. “Moments before he rapes his daughter, he has returned home drunk and sees her washing dishes. His first reaction to her is ‘revulsion’ which is ‘a reaction to her young, helpless, hopeless presence’. (Morrison 161)” Since he had never had love or affection from his parents he had failed to show any to Pecola. He thinks why she should even love him if he can never give her anything. When he sees her hopeless it reminds him of when he felt that way.
Which brings him back to the first time he had first had sex and it was interrupted when two white guys and make them continue while they watched. By this happening he realized that he could express anger and love through sex. So when he first looks at Pecola he feels hatred but then it changes to love when she shift from one foot to the other and scratches her leg with her toe and it reminds him to when he had first met Pauline. When he first saw Pauline he didn’t have intentionally have feelings of lust as for the same with Pecola. The only way that he can show is love for Pecola is by having sex with her.
In my opinion it is not his fault that he can’t show his love in another way. He grew up not knowing how to show that love and when he finally did it was through sex. But that still doesn’t make what he did right. I agree with Andrews when she says “… that Cholly is giving his daughter the only form of love he knows how to express…” but at the same time he could have learned to love in a different way for his children. By doing what he did to Pecola she will think that it’s a normal thing. It’s just a beginning of a cycle that will last for a long time.
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