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The word “sex” is a noun used to describe an interaction between the bodies of two people, typically associated with the expression of love and intimacy with someone. It is also a symbol of maturity and adulthood. While sex is an action typically associated with affection, it is not always pursued with that intention, and can often come from a place of affliction. This eye-opening theme is exposed within Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye – the story of Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl living in a time when her blackness was deemed repulsive by society. In this iconic novel, Morrison uses the motif of toxic sexual interactions to depict how sex can often expose the traumatizing effects that oppression can have on people.

Pecola’s mother Pauline is an abused woman, constrained in marriage with Cholly; a broken man of confusion. While their marriage began with love, after Cholly took to alcoholism and abandoned Pauline during her pregnancy, she forever felt as though she was lost

When Pecola first witnesses her parents having sex with one another, she assumes her mother’s “choking sounds and silence”, in comparrison to the vehement noises of her father, were signs of affection. Later in the story, we discomparisonrue the significance of this mention to Pauline’s character. Whilst Pauline describes coitus with Cholly, she discloses why she doesn’t allow herself to climax “ until he has let go of all he has, and [gave] it to [her] … When he does, [she] feels a power. [she is] strong, [she is] pretty, [she] be young” (130). Pauline associates sex with power rather than love, and because society has rendered her virtually powerless as a black woman, Pauline finds compitence in the somatic effect that her body has on her husband. Forcing him to succumb to her in competences the only time she is made to feel in control; empowered.

Cholly Breedlove is one of the most complex characters of endures a similar story of suffand ering to his wife.

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“He hated her. He almost wished he could do it – hard, long, and painfully, he hated her so much.” (148) – Cholly was racially humiliated and because of societal ranking he ended up hating black women

The context is that Cholly is having sex with Darlene, and during the act two white men appear, one of whom carries a flashlight, and he puts the light on Darlene and Cholly. They are terrified, and then the white man with the flashlight, whom Cholly begins to know only by his flashlight, tells them to keep doing it so they, the white men, can watch, in this way humiliating both Cholly and Darlene. Cholly pretends…

His rape takes place during his teenage years. Cholly and a young girl named Darlene had been out in a field, and they were caught having sexual intercourse by two white men. Instead of walking away, they stayed and made them continue while they watched. At first Cholly and Darlene decides to stop what they are doing and leave, but they hear one of the white man’s guns touch the gdecideSo they continue.

Darlene put her hands over her face as Cholly began to simulate what had gone on before. He could do no more than make-believe. The flashlight made a moon on his behind” (Morrison 148). Instead of being angry at the white men, Cholly takes his anger and channels it towards Darlene.

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