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Nick Evanson 1 April 2011
Transcript of Sula
The Bluest Eye
In 2000 it was chosen in Oprah's Book Club
Nominated for National Book Award in 1975
Song of Soloman
Won National Book Critics Circle Award
Tar Baby Writing Style
-She uses Black Literature as a guideline and uses nonfiction styles as well as fictional (magic, folktales, and supernatural) in her books to depict the life of African Americans. Morrison writes in a straight forward and purposeful manner as way to directly get to her message Writing Focus
- Morrison aims at capturing "the something that defines what makes a book 'black'." and also "to restore the language that black people spoke to its original power." Believes the use of literature can spread power and unity amongst people by delivering a point-of-view to the reader that they have never experienced. Themes
Compassion and Forgiveness Symbols/Imagery in Sula
Birds - Birds are everywhere in Sula.
Often associated with specific characters.
Ex. First met Rochelle she wears a "canary yellow dress" and has the "glare of a canary". Also a "plague of robins" arrive in Medallion just before Sula does. Birds invoke the idea of flight but also rebirth Water - often associated with Chicken Little's death by drowning. Anything water related discomforts Sula. Fire- represents the death of Hannah and Plum. In this books it also shows the idea of cleansing. Ex. When Hannah dies it cleanses Sula of a mother who is at best indifferent and at worst admits to not liking her daughter. Tone
Varied tone throughout the book. It is sometimes playful and sometimes serious, often reverent, and occasionally sarcastic. Story is told in a way that shows the brighter side to life though even in tough situations. Point-of-view (3rd Person omnisicient)
The story is told from the view of a wise narrator, who is amongst the characters, celebrating their lives in a positive way. Despite the sad and upsetting occurances, the narrator gives a voice that always gives the benefit of the doubt and tries to find good in every situation. Setting
Takes place in the Bottom which is a place inside the town of Medallion, Ohio. The residents of the Bottom are African-American and have to deal with constant discrimination and racism. The Bottom sits above a valley of white people, however there is little interaction. Takes place during Jim Crow laws and segregation. Irony
The setting of the Bottom actually over looks the white community as if they were superior to whites. Also the Bottom was given to a freed slave who was allowed land from his master. However, the master tricked him into thinking the hilly land would be fit for farming by calling it "The bottom of heaven".
Also in the end of the book an inverse happens in Medallion when whites buy property in the bottom and the black community moves down into the valley.
Acceptance of murder. Summary
Sula and Nel move to the Bottom and become best friends but the drowning of Chicken Little and other actions separate them to something worse than enemies. Personal Thoughts
Kind of boring book for me and was not very captivating. Was a black literature book with a somewhat feminist twist in it. Personal Thoughts
Kind of boring book for me and was not very captivating. Was a black literature book with a somewhat feminist twist in it. Reactions
Had some unexpected twists there. Also some of the characters had inverse features of what you would normally expect Analysis
Seemed to be a struggle in life for not just two people but a lot of people. I don't fully understand why the book is called Sula because she was, to me, not the most significant character. The most significant character wasn't just one person but the whole community and how everyone lived based on relationships with that community. WOW!!! Critical Essay
- On Motifs
-stated some of the motifs of the author were:
Women - female characters are fiercely independent. Also very traditional with the roles they play.
Racism-effects of racism can be seen in Sula with the cultures inside the races being segregated against and also the effects of racism on the African-American communities.
Fire and Water- are closely linked in this book as a symbol for death. But transforms the meanings of this words in the book. Fire becomes cleansing as water just stays a sign of death. Opinion on the Essay
-I agree with the essay, the motifs in the book resembled a lot of which was said in the essay. The motifs were actually very clear in the book because they were so exaggerated and fully expressed. The nature of the book needed to capture these motifs to get the full effect of the story. Friendship quote: "Their friendship was as intense as it was sudden. They found relief in each other's personality" Betrayal Quote:
"Dont talk to me about no burning. You watched our own mamma. You crazy roach! You the one who should have been burnt." Explanation:
Eva betrays Sula by failing to recognize or admit that Hannah was a neglectful mother. By declaring that Sula is the one who should have burned, she willfully forgets the childhood of her granddaughter. Explanation:
The girls see in each other what they don't think they have in themselves. They almost complete eachother. Analysis
Portrayed the life and community of an African-American society and focused on the struggles inside the community. It also contrasted two opposites: good and evil and white and black. Sula Peace
Sula is a dark character, emotionally defined by a sense of evil and physically defined by her black coloring, as well as the darkening birthmark in the shape of a rose that adorns her eye. As a child, she is strange, mysterious, somewhat defiant, and definitely different from those around her. Her life is shaped by two occurrences in her youth: the death of Chicken Little, which she blames on herself, and the overheard conversation of her mother when she says she does not really like her daughter. Sula grows up feeling guilty and unloved. Her only joy is spending time with her best friend, Nel Wright. The two of them become inseparable, even though they are totally different in background and personality.
Nel is Sula’s opposite in many respects. Physically she is light-colored and plain, in contrast to Sula’s blackness and mysterious appearance. Nel is also thought to be a good girl by her mother and everyone else in The Bottom, for she is quiet and obedient. Nel’s background is also different than that of Sula. Her family is respectable, staid, and proper. Nel is brought up to be the same way.
"Imagery". Brocku. nd. web. 31 March 2011.
Sparknotes Editors. "SparkNote on Sula." SparkNotes LLC. nd. web. 31 March 2011.
"Sula: Motifs in Sula". Cliffnotes. nd. web. 31 March 2011.
"Toni Morrison: An Introduction" CUNY. 4 February 2009. web. 31 March 2011.