To what extent do the surroundings of an individual affect who they become? Does free thinking really exist? Almost everything an individual does is touched, determined or influenced by the people and circumstances surrounding them. However, I still believe that there are things that the worlds sway cannot touch. In Sula, written by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, the main character is a girl, who grows up and experiences life with her best friend Nel. Sula takes a path that is clearly shaped by her surroundings, but her personality shows traits that are unique and seem to sprout from within as well. She is made up of sexual innuendoes, compassion and zeal all huddled into a package blanketed by evil, devilish wrapping paper. Inquisitive minds may wonder how she came to be that way; I would certainly like to know what made Sula.
Sula is a very sexual person, but not without reason. I dont believe she just became that way out of spite, I think she fell victim to the pre-determined roles for women in her family. With the exception of BoyBoy, those Peace women loved all men. (pg 41) They hated BoyBoy, he was the abusive, womanizing man who married Eva, Sulas grandmother, and then abandoned her and her three kids. However, other than him they were man-crazy. Hannah was a daylight lover. She would fuck practically anything, but sleeping with someone for her implied a measure of trust and definite commitment.(Pg 44) Hannah, Sulas Mother, refused to live without a man. The traits Sula would develop from witnessing sex treated as pleasant and frequent, but otherwise unremarkable (pg 44) became evident early on in her life.
Coldness is a prominent theme in both Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome and Wallace Stevens’ “The Snow Man.” When one thinks of coldness, the misery, the emptiness, and the lack of life associated with it also come to mind. Ethan Frome and “The Snowman” show that the coldness of one’s surroundings turns one cold and numb on the inside by taking away all feeling ...
It becomes clear to me that Sula will spend at least part of her life as something of a promiscuous thing when she and her best friend are going for ice-cream on a cold day so that the older men will look at them. Its not that this is a sure indication that someone will become a certain way, but I guess I just had a feeling about this girl. Later on in life she ends up having sex with countless men and is caught in a compromising position with Nels husband. I dont think she wanted to be bad though she was only being herself. Its not her fault she was brought up seeing men and sex as something insignificant, how could she know how much Nel or any woman could care for a man? How could she understand that sex was something sacred? So weve established that shes sexually indiscriminate, but shes so much more than that as well. What gave Sula her passion for life? What in the world could have sparked inside her soul that made her live crazy like a wild fire? A theory of mine is that living in a small town and being oppressed by whites made her want to rebel; it was too restricting for her.
I think she just had to get out and find release so she started to create a life that would let her be free. Giving and receiving pain, feeling love and heartbreak. Shes this woman that just lives life to its fullest extent and rarely ponders that silly little thing called consequence. She defines life with her actions and defies the standard morals with her feelings. How many people could watch their mother burn and not do anything about it? I think Eva was dead on when she said she thought Sula had watched Hannah burn not because she was paralyzed, but because she was interested. (pg 79) To top off Sulas oddness, When she herself dies she thinks Well, Ill be damned it didnt even hurt.
Waitll I tell Nel. (Pg149) Its proof that some things just come from deep inside of you and dont need to be triggered by anything. I think that those two things she did, not caring about her Mom burning and recognizing that being dead didnt hurt, were such original things that they couldnt have been derived from anything in her life. They are a part of her and her natural peculiarity. So what lit her fire? Was it the need to feel something beyond the ghetto she lived in called, The Bottom? I dont know for certain, but I think her light has been burning since the day she was born. Sula was vastly eccentric, but she also had genuine feelings of love inside her and Nel really helped to release what was beneath the wild woman Sula portrayed.
... her own family. When Sula found that feeling from Nel, but then Nel got married, it affected Sula negatively once again. Sula must have felt rejected ... way to make the home life better so the men were satisfied. Because of her reputation, some men were going to her because ... do such things as cut the tip of her finger off to prove her friendship to Nel, which just made Nel feel uncomfortable. ...
Their friendship was as intense as it was sudden. They found relief in each others personality (pg 53) and they complemented each other immensely. Nel seems to conjure feelings in Sula that wouldnt come out otherwise. For a girl who doesnt move when her Mom is burning, she sure goes to great lengths to protect the well being of Nel. Once when they were children the two of them were walking home and some boys approached them with intentions of harassing them. Sula pulled out a knife and cut her finger revealing a cherry red wound on its tip, looked at them and said If I can do that to myself, what you suppose Ill do to you? (pg 55) I dont recall Sula caring about anyone as much as she cared about Nel.
Sula wouldnt harm Nel unless it was in her best interest and thats why Ive come to the conclusion that Sula being caught with Nels husband Jude was a set up by Sula herself. I think she was warning Nel that she had a conniving husband. In fact I dont even think they had sex. The book says they were down on all fours naked, not touching except their lips right down there on the floor where the tie is pointing, on all fours like like dogs. (pg 105) I think Sula planed it that way and actually wanted to be caught. She knew Nel very well; she knew they would be found.
I think she was willing to lose Nels friendship in order to bring fourth the knowledge that needed to be exposed and thats real love right there. Without Nel, Sula wouldnt be as much of a complete person; she wouldnt have the love inside her to contradict that natural evil that flows through her veins. I think the contradiction makes Sula a really interesting person and Nel makes that possible. It appears to me that Toni Morrison is trying to convey a message about how people become who they are. What Ive gathered from this story is that you can grow into a certain situation and still choose how you allow it to influence you. Sula was born with her grandmother and Mother being women in the feminine stage, or living lives reliant upon men, and Sula became that way too.
When a loved one is dying, conversations about the end of life can be uncomfortable and difficult. Still, discussing end-of-life care is important. Depending on the circumstances, you might be able to help your loved one make important end-of-life decisions — such as whether to remain at home, move to a nursing home or other facility, or seek hospice care. Also, you can work with your loved ...
She doesnt rely on them for long term companionship, but there is something they give her that she needs. Its probably got something to do with the way they contribute to her lifestyle. Men are a major factor in her life because she is promiscuous and being that way allows her to live the wild life that she so obviously craves. However, Sula takes it upon herself to care about Nel. I think she had a perfect example of someone who didnt care about her when she was younger and heard her mom say I love Sula. I just dont like her.
(Pg57) Nevertheless Sula shows nearly unconditional love for Nel. Where was the example in her life of this unconditional love? Where did Sula learn to feel so much? I dont believe she did, I think its one of those human nature things that grows inside and comes out often in strange or unnatural ways. Sula is an admirable person through my eyes in the since that she takes hold of her own life and makes herself; she doesnt allow it to make her. Yet at the same time she incorporates parts of her childhood experience into who she becomes. I think Toni Morrison wants people to know that regardless of a situation, you still have the power to shape your own destiny and that there are things inside of every individual that no other individual or circumstance can take away. Surroundings mean a lot, but they arent everything, theyre minimal compared to the driving forces inside of someone. And friends dont always outwardly appear to be doing something good for you even when they have good intentions. Thats why Nel missed Sula after she was gone; she realized what Sula had done for her.
They were best friends Nel recalls we was girls together (pg 174).
The way Sula was shaped made her different; made her a complex person. If only Nel could have seen that Sula really did care and just didnt know how to show it correctly. If only Nel would have looked beyond the actions of Sula and seen that her life had molded her to do things the way she did. Im left wondering, if Sula had been Nels sister and turned out just like her, how would the people in the Bottom have coped with having no one to fear and place the blame on? The way Sula turned out may not appear to be positive from a narrow perspective, but looking deeper will prove different. Sula was really a necessary component in that neighborhood.
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She says before she dies that every black woman is dying, but that they are different than her because They dying like a stump. Me, Im going down like one of those redwoods. I sure did live in this world. (Pg 143) She lived alright; she lived just how she wanted to. Who made Sula Peace? I think Sula Peace made herself..