What is the message or lesson learned from Toni Morrison's Sula?
Morrison’s Sula is difficult to simplify down to a single moral, yet there are a number of salient themes and messages that we might identify in the novel.
Part of the reason that Sula is hard to simplify is that one of its principal elements is inscrutability. The character of Sula, in particular, is inscrutable – a woman, driven by impulses that she embraces but does not seem to fully understand and that she certainly cannot (or will not) control.
As a child, Sula accidentally throws Chicken Little into the river, killing him. She does not feel remorse but instead seems only to worry about getting caught. Her response is to make sure that no one besides Nel witnessed the event. This leads her to run to Shadrack’s house where she suddenly becomes embarrassed.
Why, exactly, does she run to the house of the man everyone believes is crazy? What would she do if he did see Chicken Little go into the river? Why does she grow embarrassed when she gets there? Why does never feel remorse for...
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