Sula Essay

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Ifeanyi Uzoukwu

Professor M. Washington

ENGL 317

10 November 2012

Paper #2

As my classmate, Ethan Salem, said in his historian’s report, the book, “Sula” has a distinct secondary focus to the relationships between parents and their children. In the story “Sula”, we witness a friendship between two friends fade away through the years as they grew. Betrayal serves as the main cause of the halt in the friendship between Nel Wright and Sula Peace. One of the side characters in the story, Eva, Sula’s grandmother, plays a significant role in the story. Eva is unable to tell her daughter, Hannah, who is also Sula’s Mother, that she loves her. While stunned by her mother’s reaction to her question, Hannah accidentally sets herself on fire. Ironically, Sula hears Hannah admit that she does not like her in an earlier chapter. After discovering this chain of events, I intend to explain why the matriarchal figures in the Peace and Wright families were so rigid in relation to their feelings about their daughters. Also, I intend to explain the effects of this book lacking a father figure.

Looking into the matriarchal relationship between Eva and Hannah Peace, it is important to note that a highly likely reason for the disconnect between Eva and her daughter is the fact that Eva departs from her children for 18 months, because she leaves in order to make enough money to provide for her family after she ends her relationship with BoyBoy, her previous husband. With all the struggles that Eva endures as a mother, she perseveres by making decisions for her family that she believes will benefit them. It is for this reason that Eva kills her son, Plum, who has a heroin addiction. This is the same reason that Eva did not tell Hannah that she loved her and her siblings. In this particular case, Eva does not necessarily have a dislike specifically for Hannah, Eva feels that in order for her children to succeed and rise out the poverty that surrounds their...
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