Essay on The Role of Motherhood in Sula

1957 Words Apr 21st, 2011 8 Pages
Harry Potter
Hour 6
Female Identity in Literature
18 October 2010
The Role of Motherhood in Sula by Toni Morrison As seen by many different mothers in the novel Sula by author Toni Morrison, mothers play an important part in kid’s life, shaping how they view different beliefs in the world and setting up values in their child. Every individual’s life is shaped by personal relationships they have with others. The mother and child relationship greatly affects the identity development in the kid. As seen in the racist community in the novel, the mother and kid relationship is important in the sense that the mothers and children share understanding of the sexist oppression, intertwining their lives together even more than they
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Because of the sexual confidence Hannah Peace has, Sula must disguise her difference, just like her grandmother Eva had too. Eva’s drastic measures were repeated by Sula an act of survival and denial of powerlessness and vulnerability. Nel and Sula are regularly picked on by the same group of boys, causing Sula to take matter into her own hands. At one point, Sula takes out a knife and cuts off part of her finger saying, “ ‘If I can do that to myself, what you suppose I’ll do to you?’ ” (54-55). This severe act if Sula’s moment of self-recognition of her connection to her grandmother Eva. Here, Sula realizes that she has to fight against her own vulnerability, and establish her identity, hereby following her grandmother Eva’s example. Though this moment shows Sula’s inner strength, it can never disguise her enough of being different from the rest of her community. Just as Eva and Hannah, Sula continues the unpreventable, mature line of breaking past the typical gender roles of the time. Eva’s overly independent attitude and removal from caring and mothering a daughter correctly, leaves her daughters with unlearned, societal caretaking skills. This results in Sula’s highly inappropriate and unnecessary act of clumsy caretaking within her relationship with Nel. Yet, it is understandable because Sula has never been taught normal and conventional means for problem solving. The denial of motherly love from

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