The Bluest Eye

by: Toni Morrison

Winter: Chapter 5

Summary Winter: Chapter 5

This chapter also demonstrates how those who hate most often misdirect both their feelings of love and their feelings of hatred, multiplying the suffering of the oppressed. Geraldine, instead of directing her hatred toward the subtle racism that requires her to repress the disorderly parts of herself, expresses hatred toward her own family through her coldness. Meanwhile, she misdirects her capacity for affection toward the family pet. Junior, who hates his mother for her coldness, redirects his hatred toward the cat and Pecola. The extremity of Junior’s sadism suggests that children suffer from emotional neglect and misplaced hatred in particularly intense ways. Pecola and the cat (which, it is important to note, resembles Pecola in its blackness and possesses the blue eyes she desires) then become Junior’s scapegoats, suffering the effects of a hatred that has nothing to do with them. Pecola’s father will repeat this pattern when he takes out his hatred of everyone who has hurt him upon his daughter.