Loss Of Innocence In Toni Morrison's Sula

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Sula and Nel McDowell argues, in “Sula, The Self and the Other: Reading Toni Morrison’s Sula and the Black Female Text” that “the narrative den[ies] the reader a “central” character (McDowell 81). Although it’s true that the novel shifts focus from Shadrack, Helene, Eva, and Sula and Nel, it could be said that Sula and Nel, who are explained to have two throats and one eye (McDowell 81) together, make up the “main character” of our novel. Their bond is strong enough to withstand distance, infidelity, betrayal, grudges, and even death. This life long connection between Nel and Sula is forged in their adolescence and solidified in the scene where they dig holes in unison by the riverbank. This section of “Sula” is so important because it depicts the strength of the bond between the girls, it shows them losing their innocence symbolically and foreshadows the literal loss of innocence later on in the novel, as well as other events between them, and men later in the story. Sula and Nel are twelve years old during this part of the novel. They have come to the river to look for boys, and get into trouble (Morrison 57). We are first made aware of their loss of innocence by their newfound interest in boys, and the previous passages about the girls…show more content…
(Morrison 59 Underneath their…spoken a word). After filling the dishpan-sized hole with all the cigarette butts, bottle caps, and debris they can find, “Carefully they replaced the soil and covered the grave with uprooted grass” (Morrison 59 Underneath their…spoken a word). The conclusion of this silent event almost seems like a promise between Sula and Nel. They alone know the holes were dug, filled with trash, and covered up but no one else does. They will forever remember what was done by the river, even if no one else

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