In Toni Morrison's Sula, the society of Hannah and Sula is divided over each character's sexual choices. Even though they both engage in the same activities, they are each judged for these actions differently. Society has no qualms with the sexual choices of Hannah. Her character sleeps with many men throughout the novel, and all the while, society never objects. This is because she was once married. After her husband died she longed for the touch and embrace of another man a man who might fill the empty hole in her heart, a man who might cure this affliction. Sula, on the other hand, is despised for the choices she makes. According to society, Sula is using men solely for her own selfish pleasure. Unlike Hannah, society feels that Sula doesn't deserve any sympathy for her actions. While Hannah may be looking for a new soul mate to fill the role of her husband, Sula is only looking for a quick fix.
Every society has its own distinct values and certain ideals of how a person should behave, especially in public. There is no universal morality. What is viewed as normal and acceptable is legislated by a majority. Each system of rules and regulations that are established differs in each society. Those who follow the rules are rewarded with praise and approval; they become apart of the majority and, as a result, become part of the process of adding new rules and revising old ones. Those who don't play by the rules, like Sula, are viewed as outcasts. In most societies, sex is an uncomfortable topic of conversation. It is difficult to distinguish what characterizes a healthy sexual relationship and one that is unhealthy. One person can think that sex is and should be considered a horrible thing that should never be practiced. Another person can view sex as a beautiful thing that God gave us the ability to engage in. The novel shows how two people within the same family can be viewed completely different for their sexual actions. Society ends up...
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