Issues of Sexual Morality and

968 WordsOct 3, 19994 Pages
In Toni Morrison 's Sula, the society of Hannah and Sula is divided over each character 's sexual choices. Even though they both engage in the same activities, they are each judged for these actions differently. Society has no qualms with the sexual choices of Hannah. Her character sleeps with many men throughout the novel, and all the while, society never objects. This is because she was once married. After her husband died she longed for the touch and embrace of another man – a man who might fill the empty hole in her heart, a man who might cure this affliction. Sula, on the other hand, is despised for the choices she makes. According to society, Sula is using men solely for her own selfish pleasure. Unlike Hannah, society feels…show more content…
So the women, to justify their own judgement, cherished their men more, soothed the pride and vanity Sula had bruised" (pg. 115). The wives are bitter that Sula has used their husbands simply for sexual pleasure. Unlike Hannah, there is no relationship, there is no emotional attachment, and so, Sula gains no sympathy whatsoever. She is viewed, not as a victim, but as a victimizer. Sula is not looking for love. She is looking for her own personal satisfaction. She uses men left and right for her own pleasure, and then forgets all about them, even their names, as though nothing had ever happened. Sula 's sexual choices are viewed as bad because she attempts to dominate these husbands rather than love them mutually. The reason why Sula 's actions are despised and why Hannah 's actions are viewed without prejudice is simply because of the values that are instigated in their society. Society deems what is right and what is wrong, and in accordance to sex, what is acceptable and what is not. Because Hannah is a victim and is searching for a loving relationship to replace the one that she lost when her husband died, she gains her communities sympathy. Sula is a different story: by using men for her own personal sexual satisfaction, Sula is placed as an outcast to society. The society in which she has been brought up in will not accept sexual relations that do not
Open Document