Sula Reading Guide Sample Essay

Sula is a fresh about two childhood friends. Nel and Sula. set in a little town of Medallion. Ohio. Through the girls’ narrative. we are exposed to the complexnesss of modern life. To read this fresh efficaciously. you must suspend judgement. Look at what the writer is seeking to state. read metaphorically. alternatively of literally. Because the novel is so short ( 174 pages ) you need to read carefully.

Discussion inquiries:
1. Sula is in many ways a survey of antonyms ( believe about characters. puting. and subjects ) Find an illustration where Morrison explores these opposites- how do they play off each other? What is the writer seeking to state?

2. Besides see how work forces are portrayed in the novel. Think about male characters. like Boy Boy. Tar Baby. Plum. Chicken Little. Shadrack. and Ajax. Do they hold any similarities?
3. How does race impact our apprehension of Sula? What are some of the complexnesss of how race is represented?
4. After reading Things Fall Apart. can you see any thematic similarities between the two? How has Morrison. an African American writer. been influenced by African subjects?
5. Sula is full of powerful descriptive linguistic communication. Choose your favourite. and posting it in your treatment response. analyse it briefly. looking at manner ( and citing the text specifically! )


Study Questions
Part 1:

Prologue: What function does racism play Sula? What grounds do we hold of African Americans enduring at the custodies of Whites? Why is the name of “the Bottom” ironic?
?Racism plays a prima function in Sula. In the first few pages it becomes really evident that African Americans suffer at the manus of Whites. In the first pages Morrison goes onto explicate how “the Bottom” was a barbarous gag played on a black slave who asked for some land ; the white adult male said “Oh. no! See those hills? That’s underside land. rich and fertile…but when God looks down. it’s the underside of heaven- best land there is. ” ( pg. 5 ) This was all a fast one because the “bottom” ironically I hilly sterile bouldery land. This fast one was the first intimation of racism that the fresh nowadayss. besides given the stalking-horse to the scene in which the novel takes topographic point.

1919: What is Shadrack’s narrative? Why is it important to the novel? Why do you believe Toni Morrison has included his character? How does war alter him? ?

Shadrack is truly the first character that Toni introduces in deepness. He is a war veteran that experiences the war and becomes traumatized. The Writer explains in great depth how Shadrack becomes terrified of his “growing” custodies. He spends a piece in a infirmary seeking to recover his mental wellness. I think that the turning of his custodies represents the harm he had done in war. After he is released from the mental institute he returns to the underside and everyone is terrified of him. Alternatively of turning custodies he is now awfully frightened of unexpected decease and hence creates “National Suicide Day” every January 3rd. NSD consists of him pealing a cow bell and transporting around a noose. This twenty-four hours is created for people to kill themselves or eachother at free will. Obviously everyone in the town is terrified of shadrack so he lives secluded by a river where he spends his twenty-four hours imbibing until things make sense and fishes.

1920: Think about how opposites come into drama with the characters Nel and Helene. How are they similar? How are the different? What is Helene like as a female parent? Explain the drawn-out metaphor of “custard” on pp 21-22. Why doesn’t Helene speak Creole? How are Nel & A ; Sula opposites?

Nel is Helene’s girl. so she carries similar features. for illustration her ability to maintain her composure under really nerve-racking state of affairss. For illustration when poulet small dies. Sula becomes really emotional but Nel appears to maintain composure. Helene shows the same behaviour when she is humiliated on her journey to see cecile. Although Helene raises her girl. Nel is really independent. and doesn’t afree with everything Helene wants her to. An illustration of this is her relationship with Sula. Helene doesnt want Nel to be friends with Sula because of her mother’s repute. but Nel doesnt attention about Hannah’s repute. and becomes best friends with Sula. The custard metaphor refers to Helene’s attitude and personality. although she seems strong and tries non to allow things acquire to her. she cant aid it. and every bit difficult as she wants to look in the outside she’s every bit fluid as custard on the interior. Nel and Sula are antonyms in about every facet of their being and that is what makes them hone for each other. The two misss complete eachother. and this is why they get entirely so good. Sula is emotion. and Nel is ground.

1921: Eva’s narrative. Think about the name “Eva” and her function in this chapter. Why is it important? What is the difference between love and hatred? Where is at that place boding in this chapter? Analyze the manner from p. 45-48. looking closely at linguistic communication. How does Morrison utilize imagination? Extended metaphors? Then. believe about the events: why does Eva kill Plum?

?Her name Eva. is of import because it represents “Adam and Eve” who in most contexts where the greaters of the human population and escencially the universe. This is parallel to Eva’s function as the grandma and female parent to many chief characters of the novel. The difference between love and hatred is really minimum. Both are strong emotions that borderline each other. love is a passion and a connexion to another individual or thing. Love is normally expressed as ever holding that particular someone/thing on their head. hatred is similar in this instance merely more negative. It is so easy for love to turn into hatred. and to hold a changeless long term hatred. you have to love them to detest them for that long ; to pass that big sum of energy and negativeness on person.

Morison uses imagination in this subdivision of the novel in such a manner that it is difficult as a reader to see that Eva is really puting plum on fire until Toni uses the word “flames” . Until this point descriptive words that imply a celestial scenery are used: “He opened his eyes and saw what he imagined was the great wing of an bird of Jove pouring a wet elation over him. Some sort of baptism. some sort of approval. he thought. ” ( pg. 47 ) This description is both morbid and beautiful. When taken into context it is morbid because what Plum thinks he is experiencing I the heat of maternity ( which is beautiful ) . and so it turns out his ain female parent is fixing to fire him to decease. Eva kills Plum because she can’t base to see him so disturbed from the war ; so out of love she is seting him out of his wretchedness which is a awful painful approval to the both of them.

1922: What linguistic communication does Morrison usage to speak about sex? What does the girls’ tally in with the white adolescents tell us about Nel and Sula? Analyze the scene on p. 58 ; what is it representative of? How does Nel respond to Chicken Little’s decease? Sula? Why is Sula’s interaction with Shradrack of import? Why does he state. “Always” ? ?

1923: Why is Hannah’s decease important? What does it state us about Sula?

?When Hannah dies. her girl Sula merely stands there and watches her ain female parent burn to decease. At this point in the novel we realize merely how damaged Sula is. She watched her ain female parent burn to decease non because she hated her. but merely because she found it interesting. Sula is a character that doesn’t attention for anyone. or anything but herself and her ain amusement ; and she lives her life this manner. she does non care to delight anyone. which finally leads to going a outcast for the remainder of her life in medallion.
1927: How does Nel alteration when she marries Jude Green? What prefiguration is apparent in this chapter? Nel changes significantly harmonizing to Sula one time she marries. She becomes merely like everyone else in medallion. Raises kids. plants. becomes a typical homemaker and no longer lives for herself but for others. This is what Sula hates more than anything. Sula’s manner of sing the universe is that it merely revolves around her wants and demands. with no respect to anyone else.

Part 2:

1937: What is the struggle between Sula and Eva? How does Nel respond to Sula’s return? How does she respond to Jude’s actions? What linguistic communication does Morrison usage to depict Nel’s betrayal? What is Nel afraid of? What’s the grey ball about?

The struggle between Eva and Sula is merely a physique up of emotions over the old ages. Eva is covetous of Sula’s beauty and manner of life. Sula is threatened by Eva’s authorization. Nel is happy about Sula’s return. and says that she hasnt changed a spot. Morrison uses

1939: Why is Sula of import to the community? What is Sula’s place on love? How does it alter when she meets Ajax? Why does he go forth her?

Sula in a manner brings the community together. they join together in detesting her. Sula doesnt love. she merely enjoys the satisfaction of company ; alternatively of utilizing sexual interactions for pleasance. and emotional bonding with a important other she uses it for rather the antonym. Love doing for Sula opens her up emotionally to herself. conveying solitariness and hurting into position. When she meets Ajax everything alterations. at first it was merely for merriment. she ne’er earlier had the impulse to be genitive over a lover. she merely slept with them and sent them on their manner. Ajax was different than other lovers. he ever brought some sort of gift. Once Sula changed her ways with Ajax. by doing certain her place was clean. puting the tabular array for 2 etc. Ajax realized what was go oning and left her for good. and ne’er came back. Sula was upset for a piece after he left. he left no hint behind but an designation card in the chest of drawers she came across shortly after he left ; it was so she realized she hadn’t even known his existent name. This makes her more disquieted. non merely at him but herself for allowing herself get close to ajax.

1941: What does the Tunnel represent to the Bottom? Why do the occupants want to destruct it? How does it stop up destructing them?

The tunnel represents the unfairness of racism and the upper manus that whites have. they promised the Bottom occupations to assist construct the tunnel but at the terminal were out because it meant taking work off from the white people. Then tunnel nowadayss everything the bottom didnt or could non hold. They wanted to destruct the difference that inequality brings. The tunnel ends up submerging them. interrupting off and barricading them in while H2O flooded. killing all who was in their ineluctable ego created keep. In the terminal foolhardiness was what truly killed them…not the tunnel.

1965: Who is to fault for Chicken Little’s decease? What realisation does Sula come to and the terminal of the book?
Eva accuses Nel of being guilty for poulet littles decease. because she was at that place. observation. and did nil. Although Sula did non intend for poulet small to steal out of her custodies and travel winging into the river.