Sula: a Needed Evil?

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Sula: A Needed ‘Evil'

"Their conviction of Sula's evil changed them in accountable yet mysterious ways. Once the source of their personal misfortune was identified, they had leave to protect and love one another. They began to cherish their husbands and wives, protect their children, repair their homes and in general band together against the devil in their midst…There was no creature so ungodly as to make them destroy it. They could kill easily if provoked to anger, but not by design, which explained why they could not "mob kill" anyone. To do so was not only unnatural, it was undignified. The presence of evil was something to be first recognized, then dealt with, survived, outwitted, triumphed over." (pp. 117-118)

Upon Sula's return to Medallion, there was certain speculation about why she had come back. When she returned, a plague of robins came with her which hints to the reader to keep an open mind about Sula being connected with bad things. Here, Morrison uses the power of foreshadowing to subtly suggest what bad things may lay ahead. After Sula sent Eva away to the facility, people in the town really began to talk about Sula maliciously. Also, Sula had relations with her best friend Nel's husband Jude, which separated the two from then on. She soon was seen as an "evil" woman who nobody would come into contact with.

The above passage explains the town's feelings towards Sula. At the end of the passage it states: "The presence of evil was something to be first recognized, then dealt with, survived, outwitted, triumphed over." (note the usage of asyndeton to create a more serious tone). The town has now recognized the "evil" which is Sula, and the way they are dealing with the evil is by cherishing their husbands and wives, protecting their children, repairing their homes, and banding together against her. Why, then, is Sula evil? Because of the acts of a single person, many people have changed their lives for the better. They may see Sula as...
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