Interesting highlights in Sula Sula is a novel by Toni Morrison between 1919 and 1965. The setting is at the Bottom, which is a black society situated on a hilltop, above the valley of Medallion town. In respect to geography, the Bottom is higher as opposed to the Medallion but socially and economically low when compared to the Medallion inhabitants. In this case, Morrison comes up with situations where the characters exhibit different behavior from the expectations of the community (Nigro 726). Due to the varied characters and themes evident in the novel, the story is interesting as the central and the minor characters interact. Therefore, this essay will focus on the highlights about the themes utilized by Morrison in her novel including friendships, choices, and pride.
Interesting themes in Sula by Toni Morrison
The theme of friendship makes the central force in the novel. It helps to sustain the characters and get them through the hardships of real life situations. The relationships and friendships depicted in Sula emerge as difficult and complicated. They cause pain to the individuals whose relationships did not bear fruit as they had expected. For instance, the friendship between Sula and Nel finally leads to Nel’s broken marriage. The situation occurs after Sula returns to Nel’s house, and her idleness lures her to indulge in a meaningless sexual episode. However, Jude holds that his action is due to the undervaluing resulting from Nel’s sense of self-worth (Nigro 736). The theme is interesting since Sula and Nel had a long friendship, and when this happens, the reader intends to know more about what will unfold as the story continues.
In this context, options are prevalent throughout the novel as various characters seem to make different decisions ate varied stages of the text. For instance, Sula’s characters struggle with self-identity and determination throughout the story. There are evident characters that choose to take their paths different from the ones exhibited by their parents. They want to follow their desires and ideas regarding what is wrong or right (Nigro 734). The situations create problems to the people that surround them enhancing the curiosity of the reader to unravel what will befall the “deviant.” Hence, the story becomes interesting as the reader wants to read more to realize what happens to the people that deviate from the society’s expectations. For example, Nel vows to find her self-identity and determination against her mother’s wish. The characters make own decisions that finally have profound effects on the entire society.
In the novel, pride comes as both destructive and constructive as depicted in Sula. The independence of women in the novel serves as the main course of pride. They seem to be independent and strong, but characterized by conflict whenever they face empathy and admitting fault for their actions. For example, Nel is the first to speak when Chicken Little falls and drowns in the water (Nigro 733). In return, pride intersects the issue of gender where women display pride. Further, they face accusations of going contrary to the society’s expectations. In this regard, the reader wants to know what will happen to Nel since she has the determination to acquire self-regard in the context of adverse societal constructs.
Therefore, the story is interesting pertinent to themes that help the characters in establishing decisions that make the reader eager. The issues of friendships, pride, and choices play the critical role of ensuring an attractive story throughout the novel.
Nigro, M. “In search of Self: Frustration and Denial in Toni Morrison’s Sula.” Journal of Black Studies, 28.6 (2006): 724-737. Web. 11-6-2015.