Women of Color















Running Head: SULA 1




Sula is a noble novel written by the famous Toni Morrison, which narrates the lives of two main black women known as Sula and Nel. Sula highlights the lives of these two women from their childhood, which they shared together in Ohio. Sula also highlights their lives in various styles of womanhood as well as their final stage, which is portrayed eventual as settlement, and conflict in accordance to the novel. Nel decides to stay back where she was born, marry as well as make a family in order to become a black community pillar, which evidently lived, in great harmony and togetherness. On the other hand, Sula Peace is totally against the actions of Nel and she decides to go to college where the city life carries her away and when she eventually returns home after college, she is already a reckless sexual immoral person, a rebel, and a mocker. It is evident from the novel that each of these two women suffers from their various choices that they make in their lives. They finally have to make a critical choice of harboring love for one another as well as come together for the creation of a remarkable representation of being a black woman in the United States of America (Morrison, 2004). The main theme in Sula is on feminism and the universal theme is centered on the relationship between friends, Sula and Nel. Comment by Sara: eventually Comment by Sara: who Comment by Sara: remove Comment by Sara: missing punctuation Comment by Sara: coming

It is evident from the valuable reading that Sula’s revolt is against the traditional womanhood, which is mainly characterized by dependence and motherhood to the family. Toni Morrison has utilized the feminism approach to illustrate the experiences of a black woman in the U.S whereby Sula being a person effectively portrays a feminist principle, which rises up in opposition to the patriarchal norms of nurturance, obedience, domesticity, and sexuality. The author shows the lives of Nel and Sula being very different effectively presents the novel’s major theme, which is the relationship between friends. Nel prefers to stay where she was born and she eventually lives the life of a traditional black woman whereas Sula is against Nel’s practices and she prefers to go to college and returns back as a rebel against the norms of the traditional black woman. These two women have different life perspectives, which eventually affect their life choices whereby Sula perceives Nel as being traditional (Shmoop, 2010). Comment by Sara: needs to be the adjective form Comment by Sara: showingfor the highlighted part— please consider the following—I would insert a couple extra sentences in this paragraph, to expound on the topic of friendship. You could insert 1 or 2 concrete examples of their friendship from this novel.

Sula’s majority qualities and behaviors are influenced by her childhood experiences in the Bottom and her personality describes several elements of an autonomous, strong feminist character. It is worth noting that the Medallion people never perceived Sula positively especially when she returns back as an adult to Medallion since she is seen as a person treated with fear as well as evil. The major reason why Sula is perceived as a community outcast is that she refuses to observe and acknowledge social norms that are set by the community. It is evident from the valuable reading that Sula repeatedly sleeps around and she refuses to get married. Hanna who is Sula’s mother starts to sleep around with married men when Sula’s father dies. In accordance to this society, what Hannah was doing was not evil since she was doing it for pleasure and this notion greatly affected Sula’s perception about sex since she viewed sex as being a source of pleasure. According to this society, this was a gross misconduct because of her refusal to engage in a patriarchal relationship as her mother had done in accordance to their traditions (Morrison, 2004). Comment by Sara: remove Comment by Sara: repeated from earlier, remove or change the wording

There was a rumor that Sula had at one time slept with a man believed to be white, which was regarded as unacceptable according to the traditions of the community. The community’s traditions only allowed black men to sleep around with white women but not a white man sleeping with a black woman, this led to the community regarding Sula as being evil since she lacked signs of vulnerability. Sula was indeed different from the rest of the people in that community since her actions were totally against the community’s traditions and norms. The community finally labels Sula as wicked and strange. In the novel, it is only Ajax, who perceives Sula being a strong female and he falls in love with her. The eventually have a relationship that is equality based. The negative attitude by Sula towards domestication was due to the basis of patriarchal whereby she hated the notion that an woman could be married and get impregnated in order for her husband to prove his strength. This was the paramount reason why she never had any conversations with women in such relationships since she could not hide her truth (Brown-Guillory, 2010). Comment by Sara: insert “as” Comment by Sara: typo Comment by Sara: confusing, try rewording

Sula represents a novel world black woman who makes her own choices regards of what the community and other people think about her. Sula was regarded as a dangerous female since she could not contain a house, she was daring, and she was difficult to control and, disruptive. Sula spoke the outlawed, unspeakable, and was modern and this is the feminism principle that the author of this novel tries to bring out (Brown-Guillory, 2010). Regardless of the numerous limitations on Sula by the community and family, she never imposes any limitation to her life and her rebellion to follow effectively the community’s traditions eventually isolates her from the same community. Sula has travelled widely through the country as well as attends college during her ten years that she had left home. When she returns back, she does not get married, never maintains a family house like what her mother and grandmother had done before. Her sexual exploits never leads Sula to a firm companionship, shared domesticity, or even monogamy (Shmoop, 2010). Comment by Sara: not sure what you mean here Comment by Sara: regardless? Comment by Sara: remove Comment by Sara: separate this from the earlier clause, and reword a bit to make it stand alone. Comment by Sara: Past tense to match “has travelled” Comment by Sara: remove Comment by Sara: subject verb agreement

In conclusion, Sula can be regarded as a great feminist portrayed by the author in this noble novel because all the things she does are against the community norms and traditions. This informative novel shows Sula’s revolt is the stipulated community expectations of a traditional black woman, which is mostly characterized through dependence and motherhood to the family (Morrison, 2004). The author of this novel, Toni Morrison has effectively used the feminism approach to portray the experiences of a black woman in the U.S. Sula as a human being effectively illustrates a feminist principle, which rises up in opposition to the patriarchal norms of nurturance, obedience, domesticity, and sexuality. The author portrays properly how the lives of Nel and Sula are very different and this shows the universal theme of the relationship between friends. It is paramount to note that is was very unacceptable for any person in a certain community not to follow and abide to the traditions and norms. Any person who breached these norms was considered an outcast to that community and this is what exactly happened to Sula and her actions affected her relationship with Nel who was her friend. Comment by Sara: insert comma Comment by Sara: adjective form Comment by Sara: This addresses the prompt very well, but you do not cover this material well in the essay. Consider adding a paragraph or a few sentences about their friendship. Comment by Sara: it

















Brown-Guillory, E. (2010). Women of Color: Mother-Daughter Relationships in 20th-Century Literature. Texas: University of Texas Press.

Top of Form

Morrison, T. (2004). Sula. New York: Vintage International. Bottom of Form


Shmoop. (2010). Sula: Shmoop Literature Guide. New York: Shmoop University, Incorporated.

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