How do the people in the bottom react to Sula's death?

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In the Bottom, people react to Sula's death by snubbing her once more. They don't send their condolences or do the things the community usually does, like make a cake or send flowers.

Sula is raised by her mother and Grandmother. She doesn't follow normal social conventions like Nel...

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In the Bottom, people react to Sula's death by snubbing her once more. They don't send their condolences or do the things the community usually does, like make a cake or send flowers.

Sula is raised by her mother and Grandmother. She doesn't follow normal social conventions like Nel does. This creates a reputation for her in the Bottom. When she leaves and lives an even wilder lifestyle outside of her community, she's seen as trouble. This is why the town basically shuns her once she returns home.

Toni Morrison writes:

That made every gesture an offense, every off-center smile a threat, so that even the bubbles of relief that broke in the chest of practically everybody when Sula died did not soften their spite and allow them to go to Mr. Hodges' funeral parlor or send flowers from the church or bake a yellow cake.

Part of this comes from the rejection of Sula's grandmother, Eva. Nel says that she thought maybe Eva just didn't want to see Sula buried, but that ultimately she realized that Eva was just a mean person. The community takes her cue and continues to ignore and disregard Sula after her death.

The people in her community even refuse to give details about her to the people who come to deal with her body. Once she's been buried by the white people, however, some of the residents of the Bottom do come to her grave and sing "Shall We Gather at the River."

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The people in the bottom react to Sula's death the way they reacted to her in life. The bottom people usually gather when someone has died, but they do not gather when Nel announces Sula's death. This is especially telling of their dislike when you consider that they gathered for the local prostitutes death.

This is a typical pattern of isolation with regards to Sula. When she returned from college, no one gathered to welcome her back. Of course, this is not just the community's fault. Sula has never been the warmest person or the easiest to know. Sula's actions, such as putting her grandmother in a home, have always caused her to be an outcast.

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