the comfort you feel when soothed in times of disappointment
When this happens, it is some
consolation to know that the dislike or hatred is unjustified—that you don’t deserve it.
hate coupled with disgust
I knew that some victims of powerful self-
loathing turn out to be dangerous, violent, reproducing the enemy who has humiliated them over and over.
susceptibility to injury or attack
vulnerability of youth with indifferent parents, dismissive adults, and a world, which, in its language, laws, and images, re-enforces despair, and the journey to destruction is sealed.
offering little or no hope
Begun as a
bleak narrative of psychological murder, the main character could not stand alone since her passivity made her a narrative void.
submission to others or to outside influences
Begun as a bleak narrative of psychological murder, the main character could not stand alone since her
passivity made her a narrative void.
In the example sentence, "the main character" is the noun phrase that actively connects to the verb phrase "could not stand alone." While her passivity might make her a "narrative void", she is not the "bleak narrative of psychological murder"--that is a description that should've applied to the entire novel. (Watch out for misplaced modifiers)
an empty area or space
Begun as a bleak narrative of psychological murder, the main character could not stand alone since her passivity made her a narrative
a situation from which extrication is difficult
So I invented friends, classmates, who understood, even sympathized, with her
plight, but had the benefit of supportive parents and a feistiness all their own.
The sorrow in her voice seemed to call for sympathy, and I faked it for her, but, astonished by the
desecration she proposed, I “got mad” at her instead.
The use of the word "desecration" to describe the wish for blue eyes seems like an exaggeration, but it emphasizes the author's outrage at her friend for not believing that her God-given eyes were good enough. The idea of desecration also connects to the desired color. If her friend had wished for silver eyes, that would not be so blasphemous, because nobody has silver eyes. But to wish for an eye color that is characteristic of another race is saying that your own race is not beautiful.
the act of making something different
The Bluest Eye was my effort to say something about that; to say something about why she had not, or possibly ever would have, the experience of what she possessed and also why she prayed for so radical an
implied though not directly expressed
Implicit in her desire was racial self-loathing.
express strong disapproval of
The novel pecks away at the gaze that
rescuing from error and returning to a rightful course
reclamation of racial beauty in the sixties stirred these thoughts, made me think about the necessity for the claim.
spread negative information about
reviled by others, could this beauty not be taken for granted within the community?
expressing in coherent verbal form
Why did it need wide public
articulation to exist?
a minor weakness or peculiarity in someone's character
The assertion of racial beauty was not a reaction to the self-mocking, humorous critique of cultural/racial
foibles common in all groups, but against the damaging internalization of assumptions of immutable inferiority originating in an outside gaze.
not subject or susceptible to change or variation
The assertion of racial beauty was not a reaction to the self-mocking, humorous critique of cultural/racial foibles common in all groups, but against the damaging internalization of assumptions of
immutable inferiority originating in an outside gaze.
the state of being decayed or destroyed
In trying to dramatize the
devastation that even casual racial contempt can cause, I chose a unique situation, not a representative one.
beyond or deviating from the usual or expected
singular as Pecola’s life was, I believed some aspects of her woundability were lodged in all young girls.
Another definition of "singular" is "being a single and separate person"--this adjective could describe the lonely nature of Pecola's life which, coupled with her unique situation, made her easy to wound.
guilt as a confederate in a crime or offense
In exploring the social and domestic aggression that could cause a child to literally fall apart, I mounted a series of rejections, some routine, some exceptional, some monstrous, all the while trying hard to avoid
complicity in the demonization process Pecola was subjected to.
look down on with disdain
despising glance while sabotaging it was difficult.
reproduce or make an exact copy of
The novel tried to hit the raw nerve of racial self-contempt, expose it, then soothe it not with narcotics but with language that
replicated the agency I discovered in my first experience of beauty.
impossible to doubt
Because that moment was so racially infused (my revulsion at what my school friend wanted: very blue eyes in a very black skin; the harm she was doing to my concept of the beautiful), the struggle was for writing that was
of or pertaining to hearing or the ear
My choices of language (speakerly,
aural, colloquial), my reliance for full comprehension on codes embedded in black culture, my effort to effect immediate coconspiracy and intimacy (without any distancing, explanatory fabric), as well as my attempt to shape a silence while breaking it are attempts to transfigure the complexity and wealth of Black American culture into a language worthy of the culture.
Thinking back now on the problems expressive language presented to me, I am amazed by their currency, their
make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance
Hearing “civilized” languages
debase humans, watching cultural exorcisms
debase literature, seeing oneself preserved in the amber of disqualifying metaphors—I can say that my narrative project is as difficult today as it was then.