Sula Questions and Answers
by Toni Morrison

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How does death impact the story? Explain.

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Death permeates the lives of those dwelling in The Bottom, the black neighborhood featured in Toni Morrison's Sula; it is close and constant, a persistent reminder of their poverty and diminished futures.

Sula Peace and her childhood friend Nel encounter death early on when playing with a neighborhood boy, Chicken Little. After accidentally losing her grip on the boy while swinging him, Sula sends Chicken Little careening into the river, and he drowns. This becomes a horrible secret between Sula and Nel--one that informs the pair's friendship and eventually causes them to grow apart.

Death continues in Sula's life when her mother's dress catches on fire and the woman burns to death in front of Sula....

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