The Bluest Eye

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Geraldine Character Analysis

A light skinned black woman from the south, Geraldine considers herself and her family superior to other black families. She keeps her house immaculately clean and is obsessed with the physical appearance of her home and family. As a mother and wife she is cold, and feels true affection only for her cat.

Geraldine Quotes in The Bluest Eye

The The Bluest Eye quotes below are all either spoken by Geraldine or refer to Geraldine. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of The Bluest Eye published in 2007.
Chapter 5 Quotes

White kids; his mother did not like him to play with niggers. She had explained to him the difference between colored people and niggers. They were easily identifiable. Colored people were neat and quiet; niggers were dirty and loud… The line between colored and nigger was not always clear; subtle and telltale signs threatened to erode it, and the watch had to be constant.

Related Characters: Geraldine, Louis Junior
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

The narrator has introduced Geraldine, a strict, uptight black woman who aspires to whiteness. Geraldine forbids her son, Junior, from playing with people she identifies as "niggers," instead insisting that he play with "colored" children. This distinction revolves around notions of "respectability" and proximity to a white ideal; once again, Morrison shows that even within African American communities, racism works to oppress those whose class and skin color are furthest from society's racist ideal of whiteness. Thus even though almost all the characters in the novel are African Americans living in a racist nation, within the black community itself there are still many levels to the hierarchy of society, and people like the Breedloves are at the very bottom.


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Geraldine Character Timeline in The Bluest Eye

The timeline below shows where the character Geraldine appears in The Bluest Eye. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
Women and Femininity Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Geraldine is one of these black women. She moved with her husband and her cat to... (full context)
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...but his mother calls them "niggers" and only allows Junior to play with "colored" children. Geraldine explains to Junior that there is a difference between colored people like himself and "niggers".... (full context)
Beauty vs. Ugliness Theme Icon
Race and Racism Theme Icon
Immediately after the altercation, Geraldine arrives home and Junior accuses Pecola of killing the cat. Geraldine picks up the cat's... (full context)