Toni Morrison negatively portrays parental love through the characters of Charles, known as Cholly, and Pecola Breedlove in The Bluest eye. Cholly Breedlove is dehumanized by his portrayal as a sex maniac in need of love, who is determined to obtain it at any cost. Pecola symbolizes the derivation of love. She is a victim of the lack of love in her father's childhood, and she herself grows up without it. In Pecola's case, love is measured by physical appearance. Pecola's sexual abuse by her father is a monstrous, incestuous act. The turning point of Pecola's life is when her father impregnates her at the tender age of eleven. She is ridiculed, kicked out of school, and secluded from the rest of society because of the grotesque act her father committed. The sexual acts committed against Pecola will inhibit her ability to fall in love. The trauma will cause her to interpret future demonstrations of love negatively.
Pecola's idea of love and being loved are distorted by different personal experiences. She has never experienced love from her mother or father. Her mother's love has always been directed towards the children she is paid to care for. Mrs. Breedlove has always neglected Pecola, even at birth, due to her physical unattractiveness. Since Pecola could not find the love she needed at home she found the comfort and love of a family with three prostitutes. These three prostitutes are considered to be loose women, yet they provide the care Pecola never found at home. She found love in these three women who are negatively labeled and are thought to be soiled. The love Pecola learned among these three women is conditional love or what Vladimir Solovyev labeled as "Sex-love." Sex love is one-force basic sexual desires and has no emotional attachment (30). Pecola's lack of love is similar to the one her father experienced in his childhood and that ruins Pecola's life.