In the novel Sula, by Toni Morrison we follow the life of Sula Peace through out her childhood in the twenties until her death in 1941. The novel surrounds the black community in Medallion, specifically "the bottom". By reading the story of Sula’s life, and the life of the community in the bottom, Morrison shows us the important ways in which families and communities can shape a child’s identity. Sula not only portrays the way children are shaped, but also the way that a community receives an adult who challenges the very environment that molded them. Sula’s actions and much of her personality is a direct result of her childhood in the bottom. Sula’s identity contains many elements of a strong, independent feminist
Two young girls, coalescing on a grass-laden field while lying on their stomachs, dig a hole in unspoken harmony. A picture of youth and innocence, this scene depicts an innocuous moment which the two girls share as a result of their juvenescence--or does it? In Toni Morrison 's Sula, this scene, among others, appears at first to be both irrelevant to the novel’s underlying theme and out of place with regard to the rest of the plot. Yet, when analyzed further, the literary devices that Morrison uses in these scenes bring readers to a vastly different conclusion. These scenes serve as windows into the mind of Morrison and even into the larger themes present in the text. So, perhaps two girls sharing a seemingly casual experience is not as
Nel follows all the stereotypes of what a woman should be. She is a simple God-fearing, church going women who marries young and is very domesticated, tending to the house and her children. Nel chooses to settle into the conventional female role of wife and mother while all throughout her life she has been careful to stick close to the "right" side of conformity. She was raised in a stable, rigid home by a family that has always been careful to keep up a socially respectable persona and an immaculately clean house. Sula on the other hand is the complete opposite. Sula gives social reforms no mind and is in a sense a wild woman that can not be tamed. She defies social conventions by never marrying, leaving her hometown to get an education and having multiple affairs with different men. The home she grew up in was in a constant state of disarray supplied by a steady stream of borders, three informally adopted boys all of whom were renamed Dewey and a line of men waiting for her openly promiscuous mother.
The famous novel ‘Sula’ is written by Toni Morrison. Toni Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen professor of Humanities, Emeritus at Princeton University. She received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She lives in Rockland County, New York, and Princeton, New Jersey. Toni Morrison is not just an important contemporary novelist, but a major figure in our national literature. “Sula novel examines the dynamics of friendship and the expectations for conformity within the black community” (Morrison, Toni). The main character in this novel ‘Sula’ is Sula Peace. She is the daughter of Hannah Peace and granddaughter of Eva Peace. Sula Peace has a best friend Nel Wright.
In her book Sula, Toni Morrison creates a parallel between good and evil through her use of symbolism and syntax. Coinciding with her abundance of symbolism, she often times uses birds to allow her readers to know when evil is present within her novel. Usually associated with happiness and rebirth, Morrison instead chooses to details birds as portents of death or wickedness within the Bottom. This parallel between the freedom and joy of a bird and the haunting imminence of death ultimately diminishes the severity of each calamity.
Despite being a very diverse literature genre in terms of influence and inspiration, North American literature encompasses many works that share some very common thematic elements. Though there are several themes shared, one in particular can be found in most any work – the importance of identity. Particularly in some selected pieces yet to be named, identity is a very important element, not only because it is a necessity for a main character in any work of literature, but because these works express ideas about identity as being very individualistic – as opposed to being a mere result of cultural surroundings. Zora Neal Hurtson’s Their
Have you ever been so close to a loved one that every action they take, you would have to always watch over them because they could be doing something that is not what is best for them? Nae loves her sister Sourdi so much that she tries to save her sister from the choices she had made or is about to make. At one point of the story, Nea would even die for Sourdi. Their strong connection changed throughout the years because of the maturity level that Sourdi was going through, while Nea was stuck in the past. Throughout this essay, I will discuss how Nea truly cares for her sister, Sourdi, and how she was unconscious about what she has been doing, making their relationship weaker.
their sense of identity. Identity holds to be one of the most sought-after enigmas each being holds within themselves. It is the idea, hope, or dream that carries one to endless opportunities and limitless possibilities for oneself. Consequently, with the sense of identity, also comes the sense of being bound. What one often feels to be their own, the outside world perceives differently, potentially limiting and binding one to something foreign and false. In the following literary works, each piece voices its claim to identity and its struggle to rise above the bounds society has set on them.
This is how Sula, the heroine of Toni Morrison's novel, refers to what she feels to be every white woman's secret desire to be raped by a black man.
Your skin begins to wrinkle. Your hair turns gray. You become frail, thin and weak. All of these transformations inevitably occur in everyone’s body over time. But what remains the same in a person after all these years? Toni Morrison, in her novel Sula, suggests that our inner selves do not change as much as we think. Through a consistent emphasis on body parts, color, and physical appearance, Morrison illustrates the coexistence of change and stability that lie within each person’s body and identity. Though it appears that people can easily alter their identities to fit their desires, Morrison ultimately emphasizes that one’s identity does not change over time because one’s body prevents it from doing so.
Authors developed the canon in order to set a standard of literature that most people needed to have read or to have been familiar with. The works included in the canon used words such as beautiful, lovely, fair, and innocent to describe women. The canonical works also used conventional symbols to compare the women to flowers such as the rose and the lily. Thomas Campion depicts the typical description of women in his poem, "There is a Garden in Her Face." He describes the women by stating, "There is a garden in her face/ Where roses and white lilies grow,/ A heavenly paradise is that place,/ Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow" (1044-5). The roses and lilies are used to portray beautiful, frail
Toni Morrison's Sula is a novel that has a theme about the nature of evil. The story follows the lives of two black female friends who present differing views on evil. On one hand, we have society's conventional view of evil represented by the character of Nel and also seen in the Bottom's disapproval of Sula. The other view of evil is seen through the character of Sula and through her actions, which conflict with traditional society. The friendship of Sula and Nel is how the author conveys her message about evil in the relationship. In the relationship the two different conceptions of evil mix and create an essentially neutral mixture. By looking at Nel's and Sula's friendship and the two different views of evil that they
Identity is who a person is or how they see themselves, but is this something they are born with or is it something they learn over time? Can this identity be changed? Or is it permanent once set? Identity is a major theme in Toni Morrison’s Sula. Scholars discuss the different identities that the characters possess, but tend to fail to mention character development or lack of character development. Character development or lack thereof is usually an important literary move in most writing. This development provides a deeper understanding of characters in addition to a deeper understanding of themes throughout the literature. Sula focuses mainly on the lives of Sula and Nel, which makes tracking their character development easier to track and observe their identity and sense of self. Identity is a major, yet easily overlooked theme in Sula.
In her essay "Beloved: A Question of Identity," Christina Davis discusses the issue of identity from an historical perspective, a textual perspective and an authorial perspective. She looks at the text in comparison to the slave narrative, explores how the text itself expresses issues of identity and describes Morrison's choices of authorship and their contribution to identity. Her exploration of the theme of identity calls upon the treatment of self-image, particularly in the context of slavery; and outward image as expressed by naming and other white descriptions of the black characters. Her organization of information is historically sequential, ordering elements as they occurred
Nel, however, is exposed to outside elements that allow her to have a glimpse of feminine independence. She is introduced to her prostitute grandmother, and she also becomes a good friend to Sula. When she spends time in Sula's home, she sees the looser lifestyle of Sula's family. Although she is interested, and wants to change to a more independent lifestyle, she does not. She marries young, following in the footsteps of her mother.