The Breedlove family knows pain. They know their ugliness, too, and therefore they know loneliness, hardship, and misery. Their poverty envelops them in shame, forcing them to accept their defect. The Breedloves find the confinement of their poverty distressing, frustrating, and oftentimes infuriating. Thus, each Breedlove senses that he or she may never experience happiness.
In her novel The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison depicts the piteous state of the Breedlove's rented storefront apartment; specifically, she describes their sofa as a "hated ... piece of furniture" which "produces a fretful malaise" and "limits the delight of things not related to it" (37). Furthermore, Morrison mentions how "the fabric had split straight across the back by the time [the couch] was delivered" and how the Breedloves still had "to pay $4.80 a month" for the sofa with the "gaping chasm" (36). The Breedlove family exists in a similar state. They detest, yet cannot escape from, their destitution, just as they cannot "take any joy in owning" the disfigured
This adversity creates unbearable friction within the Breedlove family. However, as Pauline, Cholly, Sammy, and Pecola Breedlove each attempt to find comfort and joy, they consequently enlarge the "gaping chasm" between themselves and the rest of society (37). Like
their sofa, despised, damaged, and split, the Breedlove family's self-hatred and perpetual suffering
rips their family apart and, ultimately, severs them from reality.
Similar to the hate the Breedloves exhibit toward their "tore couch," they also manifest an "exquisitely learned self-hatred (65)" toward their ugliness which also "produces a fretful malaise" (37). However, each family member reacts to his or her ugliness in different ways. Pauline blames her "feeling of separateness and unworthiness (111)" on her broken foot, analogous to the "gash" in the sofa's fabric which imposes a "joylessness st[ink]"...