Quote 2

It had occurred to Pecola some time ago that if her eyes, those eyes that held the pictures, and knew the sights—if those eyes of hers were different, that is to say, beautiful, she herself would be different.

These lines, which introduce Pecola’s desire for blue eyes, are found in Chapter 3 of the “Autumn” section of the novel. They demonstrate the complexity of Pecola’s desire—she does not want blue eyes simply because they conform to white beauty standards, but because she wishes to possess different sights and pictures, as if changing eye color will change reality. Pecola has just been forced to witness a violent fight between her parents, and the only solution she can imagine to her passive suffering is to witness something different. She believes that if she had blue eyes, their beauty would inspire beautiful and kindly behavior on the part of others. Pecola’s desire has its own logic even if it is naïve. To Pecola, the color of one’s skin and eyes do influence how one is treated and what one is forced to witness.