Theme Of Sula By Toni Morrison

1195 WordsSep 26, 20175 Pages
Nick Duque ENC 1939 Professor Potter 5 September 2017 Paper 1 In Toni Morrison’s novel “Sula”, identity is a theme that is made evident through the struggles and experiences of certain characters. In chapter 1919, Morrison tells the story of World War II veteran Shadrack, through an omniscient narrator point of view. In doing so, the reader is able to clearly see how Shadrack himself processes what is going on around him, and how his identity is being shaped. Morrison introduces the character as the founder of National Suicide Day, which takes place every January 3rd (Sula 7). This introduction alone demonstrates that Shadrack himself, must have been through a series of traumatic events in his life in order to establish such a dark,…show more content…
As the hospital staff tried to calm him down, he was not sure why they called him “Private”, making him believe he was being called a secret and not knowing why. This indicates a certain level of memory loss or confusion, as he is unable to recall his rank as a soldier. Furthermore, Morrison goes on to explain how Shadrack is thrown back into the real world outside of the war, and how he interacts with society. He leaves the hospital, and finds himself overwhelmed with the world outside of him, and with no sense of direction. As he hit the road, he is in a weak state physically, and as he walks down the road he stumbles around drawing attention to himself from people driving by. From the outside Shadrack appeared to be drunk, however in reality, he was just struggling with himself. In the mix of the madness, Shadrack begins to cry, and Morrison describes a point of realization. Shadrack realizes that he was: “Twenty-two years old, weak, hot, frightened, not daring to acknowledge the fact that he didn’t even know who or what he was…”(Sula 12). This breaking point reveals Shadrack and his loss of identity. All his experiences drove him to the point to not even remember who he was, what he fought for, or where he came from. Afterwards, he was arrested and taken to jail for “vagrancy and intoxication” (Sula 13). In his jail cell, an eager feeling of wanting to see his own face overtook him, and as he looked at his reflection in the toilet water, he could not believe
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