Sula Themes Essay

Topics: Black people, Good and evil, African American Pages: 4 (1339 words) Published: May 24, 2006
Toni Morrison's "Sula" is a novel about the history of the black race in America. The novel deals with a variety of themes but perhaps the major theme portrayesd throughout the novel is ‘Good Versus Evil", that is, the choice between right and wrong. This theme is brought into light on numerous instances by the choices and actions of the characters. The minds of the characters are like constant battle grounds for "Good Versus Evil", whereby they are faced with the ever so famous dilemma of making choices based on instinct and reason that would determine their or other's lives for the better or worse, that is, the decision of what is "right" and what is "wrong"; "good" versus "evil". A few of the main and conflicting issues that become cause for constant and persistent judgement are racism, motherhood, unfaithfulness and betrayal. Throughout the novel, Sula, the main character, is termed to be "bad", over and over again, by the somewhat conservative and judgemental society that she is forced to live in, while Nel is perceived as the image of "goodness".

The novel shows ongoinf problems that affect people of the bottom community just because of their race. It brings to light the discrepancies in wealth and social position between blacks and whites, revealing the harsh realities of African American lives. Right from the beginning of the novel, black peope are denied their freedom and fairness. For example, "The bottom" got its name from a cruel joke played on a black slave. A white farmer once promised his slave freedom and rich "bottomland" in exchange for some a freedom, however, instead of the fertile bottomland, he gave him a piece of hilly and eroded land. The farmer tod the slave that that piece of hilly land was the bottomland. "High up from us," said the master, "but when God looks down, it's the bottom of heaven – the best land there is." (Pg. 5). He had been tricked by his master and given a piece of land that was worthless for farming. The...
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