In this section of the book, Toni Morrison tackled an issue black people have been facing for years- light skin verses dark skin. This division within the community has been a long lasting problem ever since slavery was "abolished". .
Maureen Peale, the high yellow, rich black girl who went to the local school with Claudia, Frieda and Pecola is a prime example that blacks have come to acknowledge. It seems as if black people of lighter skin have better lives- just like the age old stereotype of blondes having more fun than darker haired females. Well maybe it is better to be lighter because after all, in school, the teachers were delighted to call upon Maureen's name; black boys didn't trip her in the hallways; white boys didn't beat her up; white girls showed her respect and black girls cleared a path when she needed to use the sink. .
On the other hand, Pecola couldn't get the slightest bit of respect or even to be left alone in peace by neither blacks nor whites- where's a girl to fit in? In just about every story told about Pecola, she is found somewhere crying and humiliated; can anyone blame her for wanting blue eyes or wanting to escape the experiences that her eyes have seen? .
Meanwhile, Claudia and Frieda who thought they were comfortable with themselves, quickly questioned their well being when Maureen came along. They became over indulged in jealousy and jumped at any opportunity to find some flaw in her character. Was this a feeling of the natural jealousy that females feel when a new girl in town shows up or was it the contempt that Claudia felt toward whites that seeped through when they "seemed" to be doing good?.
As an author intone with her culture, I think it was important to bring out the classification of black people within a black society- the subdivisions of "colored people" and "niggers" (pg 87). It is believed that this need for classification stems from slavery, when there were house Negroes and field Negroes.