In Sula, how does the novel potray relations between mothers, daughters, and grandmothers?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Sula, the relationships between daughters, mothers, and grandmothers is quite complicated.  Sula's mother Hannah tells her daughter that she loves her but that she does not like her.  Hannah senses an obligatory bond to Sula, but she does not see why she needs to actually like her own daughter.  Similarly, when Hannah is burning, Sula sees her from the window and smiles while she watches her mother burn.  These actions and responses seem unfathomable when viewed from the perspective of ultimate love, trust, and caring among family members.  However, the characters in Sula see their individuality as paramount over the assumed feelings that they should have for their family members.