To have value is to be important, useful, and worth something. The way society and alienates Pectoral reveals that they hold no value for her. She has been told her whole life that she is ugly, her own mother even said, “But endowed she was ugly. Head full Of pretty hair, but Lord she was ugly” (126). Pectoral is alienated from everyone because she is “ugly”. She has been called ugly so much that she now believes she is. If society held any value for Pectoral they would not call her ugly; they would boost her up, not bring her down. The black community has been alienated room the whites and has come to believe that whites are superior to them.
The Black community dollies the white community and they believe that the wealthier someone is, the closer to white they are. The black community, trying to be more “white”, then turns around and alienates Pectoral because she is the lowest black there is. The Black community views her as less because she is what they call “ugly’. She is “ugly” because of everything that has gone on in her life, and as the novel progresses so does her “ugliness”, along with her alienation from society. When Coolly, Piccolo’s father, raped her, she became impregnated with his baby.
Instead of going after Coolly for raping his daughter, his own blood, the community alienated her even more and claimed that her baby should die because “Certain seeds it will not nurture, certain fruit it will not bear and when the land kills of its own volition, we acquiesce and say the victim had no right to live. ” (p. 206). The narrator is saying the reason why Piccolo’s baby died was because the community hated it and viewed it with no value and assumed it should die. The community just assumed that because Coolly was bad person and Pectoral is “ugly”, the baby doesn’t deserve life.
If a white girl was raped by her father, the father would end up in jail. However, because Pectoral isn’t high up in the community, the community could care less. This also ties into the community’s value of Pectoral. If Pectoral had a higher value with the community then maybe they would have gone after Coolly and helped Pectoral take care of the baby. The black community used Piccolo’s pain and guilt of the pregnancy to make themselves feel superior to her. Claiming that “Her simplicity decorated us, her guilt sanctified us, her pain made us low with health. ” (p. 205).
This reveals that the community has no value for Pectoral. They are using her as a scapegoat to make themselves look better. If they valued her they would care more and not use her as a scapegoat. They have no values and they have high assumptions Throughout the novel, the black community, except Claudia and Fried, alienates Pectoral. They were beside her from her first menstrual cycle until she left because she was pregnant. Even when she was pregnant they still wished the best for her. They even planted flowers to ensure that her baby would live. “We have to do it right, now.
We’ll burry the money over by her house so we can’t go back and dig it up, and we’ll plant the seeds out back of our house and when they come up, we’ll know everything is all right. All right? “(P. 192). Claudia and Fried are the only ones who care about Pectoral throughout the novel. They have a higher value for her and their assumptions are not so unrealistic. The alienation of Pectoral from her family and the black community affected her greatly. She secluded herself from the community. She even secluded herself from Claudia and Fried. When society pushes someone away and ells them who they are they will come to believe it.
Society alienated Pectoral and told her she way “ugly’ so she eventually believed it. The fact that society alienated Pectoral instead of assisting and supporting her reveals their low value of Pectoral. They assumed the worst and acted on it. The alienation of Pectoral was also partly due to the alienation of the black community by the white community. When a community as a whole is alienated it causes the higher people of the community to alienate the lower people of the community. Alienation and assumptions affect not only a person, but also their community as a whole.