In Sula, what are some superstitions and omens that the people of the Bottom believe?

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teachertaylor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 7, "1937," Sula returns to the Bottom and is accompanied by a plague of robins.  Sula has been away from home for ten years and, when she returns, the townspeople are not happy to see her.  The birds are an evil omen according to the townspeople, but they can do nothing about it and resolve to simply put up with any bad things to come.  In addition to the birds, the birthmark over Sula's eye also appears to change according to others.  Nel believes that the rose-shaped pattern is getting darker, and Jude thinks the birthmark looks like a snake's head.  All these superstitions surrounding Sula cast her as a bad omen, and later in the chapter, bad things do happen.  Particularly, Sula has an affair with Jude which crushes her friendship with Nel.

zumba96 | Student

In 1937 when Sula finally returns from the outside world there is a plague of robins who come with her. From there the people of the bottom start to suspect that she is evil. Some view the birthmark on Sula's eyes as a snake but Nel views it as a rose which represents the difference between friends and others. When Teapot comes to Sula's door he trips and his mother believes that Sula was the one who pushed him, Shadrack tips his hat at her when she passes him, she is heard to have slept with white men which is the lowest anyone can go based on others around her and Sula is viewed as an evil human being.