His sexuality was anything but lewd; his patronage of little girls smacked of innocence and was associated in his mind with cleanliness.
Throughout the novel, Morrison uses the idea of cleanliness to illustrate “whiteness”, while dirt represents “blackness”. The cleanliness that Geraldine, Mr. Henry’s wife, and other black characters try to achieve, is represented in the most extreme scenario as pedophilia. The love of beauty that has not been touched by experience or human development creates Soaphead’s obesession with little girls. Because of this connection, “whiteness” can be seen as an absolute innocence, while “blackness” is a corruption of innocence in the eyes of society in the novel.
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