Cholly Breedlove Character Analysis

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 610 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Words: 610|Page: 1|4 min read

Published: Mar 16, 2024

Table of contents

  1. Background and Early Life
  2. Impact of Racism and Oppression
  3. Complexity of Cholly's Character
  4. Conclusion

Cholly Breedlove is a complex and deeply flawed character in Toni Morrison's novel, "The Bluest Eye." Throughout the novel, Cholly's actions and behaviors are shaped by the trauma and oppression he experiences as a black man in a racist society. This essay will provide a comprehensive analysis of Cholly Breedlove, exploring his background, motivations, and the impact of his actions on himself and those around him.

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Background and Early Life

Cholly Breedlove's early life was marked by abandonment and neglect, which had a profound impact on his development as a person. Born to a single mother and left on a trash heap shortly after birth, Cholly's formative years were devoid of love and stability. This early trauma likely contributed to his inability to form healthy relationships and his struggle with feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing.

Research on childhood trauma and its long-term effects supports the idea that Cholly's early experiences had a lasting impact on his psychological well-being. According to a study by Felitti et al. (1998), individuals who experience adverse childhood experiences, such as neglect and abandonment, are more likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors and struggle with mental health issues later in life. This research provides a framework for understanding Cholly's character and the ways in which his early experiences shaped his actions and attitudes.

Impact of Racism and Oppression

Cholly Breedlove's life is also profoundly affected by the racism and oppression he experiences as a black man in America. Throughout the novel, Cholly is subjected to dehumanizing treatment and discrimination, which contributes to his feelings of anger and hopelessness. The impact of systemic racism on Cholly's psyche is evident in his actions, such as his violent outbursts and his inability to form meaningful connections with others.

Research on the psychological effects of racism highlights the ways in which individuals like Cholly are impacted by their experiences. According to Williams and Mohammed (2009), racism can lead to chronic stress, depression, and other mental health issues, particularly for black individuals. This research sheds light on the ways in which Cholly's character is shaped by the racism and oppression he faces, providing a deeper understanding of his motivations and behaviors.

Complexity of Cholly's Character

While Cholly Breedlove's actions are often reprehensible, it is important to recognize the complexity of his character. Despite his violent and destructive behavior, Cholly is also portrayed as a deeply wounded and vulnerable individual. His inability to cope with his trauma and his inability to form healthy relationships are aspects of his character that evoke empathy and understanding, despite his actions.

Research on the portrayal of complex characters in literature supports the idea that characters like Cholly Breedlove can elicit a range of emotional responses from readers. According to Smith (2015), complex characters challenge readers' preconceived notions and invite them to engage with the text on a deeper level. Cholly's complexity as a character is a testament to Morrison's skill as a writer and adds depth and nuance to the novel.


Cholly Breedlove is a multifaceted character whose actions and attitudes are shaped by a combination of early trauma, systemic racism, and his own internal struggles. Through a comprehensive analysis of Cholly's background, motivations, and the impact of his actions, it becomes clear that he is a product of his environment and experiences. While he is deeply flawed, Cholly's complexity as a character invites readers to consider the ways in which trauma and oppression can shape individuals and their actions.

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By understanding the factors that contribute to Cholly's character, readers can engage with "The Bluest Eye" on a deeper level, gaining insight into the complexities of human behavior and the lasting impact of trauma and oppression.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Cholly Breedlove Character Analysis. (2024, March 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
“Cholly Breedlove Character Analysis.” GradesFixer, 15 Mar. 2024,
Cholly Breedlove Character Analysis. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Cholly Breedlove Character Analysis [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 15 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from:
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