Sula Questions and Answers
by Toni Morrison

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What life lessons can we draw from Toni Morrison's novel Sula? I need at least four lessons. Thanks!

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Another important lesson, or theme, that the novel iterates is that, in choosing domesticity, women sometimes give away or abandon key parts of themselves in exchange for security and social acceptability. Sula and Nel grow up loving each other. Sula is so protective of Nel that, during a confrontation with bullies, she slices off the edge of her own finger to show them the extent to which she will go.

On the surface, Sula's betrayal of Nel (she goes to bed with Nel's husband, Jude) seems to be a dismissal of their friendship and of her previous urge to protect Nel from harm. However, Sula doesn't go to bed with Jude because she desires him. She does it because she doesn't think that Nel's relationship to him should be more important than her relationship with Sula, and she thinks it certainly isn't more important than her relationship with herself. In this regard, one can argue that Sula was, again, trying to protect Nel from a form of harm—loss of selfhood. Nel doesn't learn this...

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