Sula Context

Sula Context

Author:
Original title:
Sula
Published:
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”.

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