Essay on Sula

1337 WordsNov 12, 20146 Pages
Robert Allen English October 28, 2014 Throughout Toni Morrison’s Sula, racism and sexism are recurring themes that are deeply explored and illuminated throughout the novel. The novels’ two main characters Nell and Sula are not only women living in a patriarchal world, they are also African American, which further exposes them to mistreatment and pre-determined societal roles. African Americans during the 1920’s were experiencing great social injustices and mistreatment, along with the likes of women who were also experiencing inequality to a lesser degree during this time as well. In her novel Sula, by addressing and shedding light on the many acts of racism and sexism that occurred during the 1920’s, Toni Morrison shows how African…show more content…
While racism affects everyone in the African American community during this time, it is their roles as females that set Sula and Nell apart from the male figures in the novel. After World War 1 it became increasingly hard for women to find roles in the work place, as society was shifting drastically towards the traditional role of women, which was in the house and in the bedroom. For instance, In the United States in the 1920s, only about 15 percent of white, and 30 percent of black married women with wage-earning husbands held paying jobs (Moore). The reason for this is because once again, society found the role of women to be at home with a family. Because of this shift, women who went against these societal norms were often criticized and ridiculed for acting out. This grim reality that society places black females behind every other group is recognized by Nell and Sula at a very young age and seems to drive their life’s paths. The narrator states, “because each had discovered years before that they were neither white nor male, and that all freedom and triumph was forbidden to them, they had set about creating something else to be” (Morrison's Sula, 1973). With this quote, the narrator shows how women in this time period were very limited in their freedoms to live a life they wanted because not only

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