Novel Study – Sula Sula by Toni Morrison highlights the themes and expectations that we have been discussing throughout the course. This story illustrates the community expectations for women. A strong basis for a thesis statement for the book Sula could be betrayal. Betrayal in the novel Sula is the central theme that changes the course of life for all characters involved. One example of betrayal happens when Sula sleeps with Nel’s husband. Another basis for a thesis statement could be a mother’s love. In Sula, Morrison revitalizes a theme that is explored in much of her writing: the nature and limits of a mother’s love. When you consider the character of Eva, she is an example of what a mother’s love is and the lengths a mother
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She busied herself trying to do what was expected of her by graduating high school and marrying immediately. Nel tried hard to portray a good image for the sake of fitting into societal views by being totally submissive to her husband and maintaining a clean house and the community adored her. Nel’s husband Jude stated “With her he was head of a household pinned to an unsatisfactory job out of necessity. The two of them together would make one Jude” (Morrison pg. 83).
Another example of societal expectations of women in the community was with the character Sula. Sula is total opposite of what the community of the Bottom expects of their women. She was independent and carefree but the community viewed her as “loose”. Sula had a chaotic upbringing; one might even say she lived in a dysfunctional home. Her father left her mother and they were forced to live with Sula’s grandmother Eva. Sula’s mother Hannah was very promiscuous which Sula took notice of. This is where she got the impression it was ok to use men to her advantage or to use men before they use you like her mother Hannah. “Hannah’s friendships with women were, of course, seldom and short-lived, and the newly married couples her mother took in soon learned what a hazard she was” (Morrison pg. 44) and her grandmother Eva who likes to entertain different men at the house “One of her men friends had fashioned a kind of wheelchair for her: a rocking-chair top