Sula Study Guide

Sula Study Guide

Original title:
Published April 5th 2002 by Plume Books (first published 1973)
ISBN 0452283868 (ISBN13: 9780452283862)

“Sula” is a novel written by Toni Morrison in 1973. Toni came to the literary path from a creative family and her career is a work of art in itself. In "Sula" she created a story about two girls who became women. It is a story about two friends, who turned into fierce enemies over something that wasn’t of their fault. It is also a story about roots and cultural origins.

You are about to read a story about Nel Wright and Sula Peace that met each other as kids in a small city in Ohio. Their friendship and loyalty to each other withstood the bullying of local hooligans, as well as kept a big secret they both shared. They live in an African American community Bottom, a small town surrounded by white cities.

Both girls come from very different families: Nel grew up to be a very traditional girl who married and devoted herself to be a mother and a wife to her husband. While Sula chose a much more disruptive path engaging in an eccentric lifestyle and dubious relationships.

Both girls share a secret – an accident in which a little boy died – and this only intensified the differences between their attitudes towards life. Both girls observe the humiliation of their mothers from the childhood. It affects them in different ways: Nel makes a promise to herself to be “good”, while Sula decides to live the life she wants and ignores the society’s norms and standards. Her presence in Bottomland actually unites its inhabitants and makes them reconcile with each other in an attempt to outcast Sula.

“Sula” is a book about the ambiguity of life. Its rich text and plot tell the reader that everything in our life has a couple of meanings – starting from the fact that hills are called Bottom Land just because the white landlord didn’t want to give up the fertile land to his black slave, ending with different perceptions of “good”, “evil” and “acceptable”.

New Essays

Motherhood in Sula

Toni Morrison’s Sula revolves around the relationship of her two main characters, Sula and Nel. The childhood friends grow apart with age. Although it is indicated that their friendship is the most important relationship they participate in, they eventually betray each other and lead dishonest...

Sula Critical Theory Essay - Black Feminist Theory

Looking through a Black Feminist Critical Lens, Toni Morrison’s characters in Sula resemble Mary Helen Washington’s definitions of African American female characters. Specifically, Sula, Nel, and Eva; Sula is a Liberated Woman, Nel is a Emergent Woman, and Eva as a Suspended woman. Sula is...

Sula Paper

Taylor Koch 2/6/12 Multicultural Lit. Gaic4Ok~ The Chain of Motherhood One of the main themes in Toni Morrison’s novel Sula is the strong influence of family and friends. The main characters of the novel are Sula Peace and Nel Wright; both of these characters come from completely opposite types of...

Sula by Toni Morrison

Sula by Toni Morrison, is a book about a black female and the various events throughout her life. The majority of these events were at the fault of Sula, but because of her past she did not know, or could not understand any better. Sula became the woman that she was because of the people and...

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