Sula Essay

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In Toni Morrison’s novel “Sula” the reader notices that many of the given names and nicknames of the characters in this novel are somewhat unusual, suggesting that there is underlying symbolic meaning and importance in Morrison’s naming. There are a number of different approaches that one could take with an essay on this subject. One approach might be to consider how naming fits within African-American literary tradition and culture. Such an essay on “Sula”, however, would require external sources and sufficient knowledge about this subject. Another approach might be to take one or two characters and analyze their names in relationship to their character traits and their function in the narrative. Whichever approach you choose, be sure to build a strong argument about the importance of naming in the way it is used in this novel.

In Sula, Morrison resuscitates a theme that is explored in much of her writing: the nature and limits of a mother’s love. Considering the character of Eva, develop an essay in which you analyze Eva’s actions as a mother and either justify or condemn her for her decisions. Include a consideration of the deliberative process (or lack thereof) that Eva goes through before making the decisions that she does with respect to her children.

When Hannah says that she loves Sula but does not like her, she conveys a lesson to the reader about relationships in life. This is but one of many such lessons that Morrison offers the reader in Sula. Identify one or more additional instances in which Morrison teaches the reader about the nature of life and love. Write an essay in which you agree or disagree with Morrison’s lessons and explain why. Offer an opinion as to whether you believe Morrison might have conveyed these lessons more effectively through other plot devices or events.

There are at least two communities portrayed in Sula: the Black community called The Bottom, and the white community of Medallion. Write an essay in which you...
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