From the beginning of this book right until the end there is a reoccurring theme and, that is racial tension. The difference between the black and white communities was so separated during this time period. The "racial tension", is caused from generations of hatred starting with the fact black people were once slaves to the white folk. People don't just forget having their ancestors go through hell and back. The issue is the fact that us white people just think they will go on with life without any discrepancies towards the white race as a whole. Whenever there is unjust between white and blacks, people will immediately try and say that one of them or both are just being racist.
This book reveals all of these things all into one, this is what makes it so realistic. This little girl wants to have blue eyes and be a little white girl for goodness sake! This is absolutely outrageous. She should love herself for who she is, and never want to be somebody else because of skin color. But having said all of that, the main issue still remains during this time period white people really did actually have it better than black people. The laws were always in favor of keeping the white richer and more powerful. There weren't really if at all influential black people in the government who could help influence change. This family is living this harsh reality of social difference. The mother is a maid at a rich white house, having to take care of the children and clean this beautiful house. While in reality she is only there for the day and then has to return to where she really lives. The financial problems with her husband, the needs of her own children. The father beats his wife all the time during this novel. All of this just mixes around and creates tension, between her and the family she works for, and then the family she belongs too.
A novel that was written close to the time this novel was released that has the same sort of messages as to kill a mockingbird. The main difference however is this novel isn't about persecuting a black person because of color; but it is much worse than that. This novel reveals the beliefs and standards that were in this time period. The poor were the black or other races; the white race was dominant during this period of American history. Maureen has lighter tone to her skin and is seen as more beautiful because of it, while Pecola is deemed ugly just because her skin is black with no lighter tone.
Throughout this novel it becomes more evident that she is the protagonist, the center of hatred inside the black community. She symbolizes the main reason why there is racism inside the black race. People in her town do not let her ever believe is beautiful by treating her horribly. She suffers through watching her parents beat each other because they internally hate themselves also for the suffering their life's have. People in her town believe by yelling and treating Pecola horribly it makes them feel better about themselves. She is bullied beyond belief for the simple reason; she is too black. See back then there was no "black is beautiful" people would laugh at the thought. Ultimately this is worse than dying because she has to live this life every single day, being hated and mocked. There is nobody who she can relate to or even be fully accepted. In certain parts of this novel we see her try and be accepted. There unfortunately is an even worse case of self-denial, Pauline Breedlove Pecolas mother lives in this dream world of being white and beautiful with plenty of possessions. This comes from many different examples throughout. First is when she is at the movies and see this gorgeous white movie star Jean Harlow, she does this by doing her hair the exact same way. Sadly it doesn't work out and while eating some candy her tooth falls out. This is a symbol that you can't change who you are, its life's lesson of having to accept thyself. While working at the rich white household she sees the reality of having money. There are no financial fights between the husband and wife. There are no worries of what is there for dinner tonight; the children eat plenty of delicious meals. Education is the priority for the children to ensure they do well in the future and make lots of money. The reality for the Breedlove home is there money for the bills or food in the refrigerator. Even further more Mrs.Breedlove treats the white children with more care and love than she does for her own. This is evident when Pecola is around while her mother cares for the other children. Instead of introducing her daughter she tells them that she doesn't know who she is. This reveals her reluctantness to accept her own child, simply because of race clashes.
This novel had many different themes and motifs to write about; I chose racial tension and it is clear why. The racism is ultimately from within, by not accepting each other or even themselves. They each set themselves up for failure to be accepted by the white community, they have given up and just go on with their life's and take it out on each other at home. The sad thing is if they would just love one another maybe there wouldn't be tension in whole communities. The Breedlove family is ultimately torn apart, and towards the end of the novel we see Pecola on the other side of town nonexistent. Pecola is the constant reminder of what self-hate and hatred from others can be human cruelty and destroy somebody's life. These are real issues that were being faced during this time period, and unfortunately were not dealt with correctly.