Motherhood In Sula Research Paper

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Motherhood is viewed as universally nurturing, caring, and filled with involvement, but is this always the case? Do mothers have to actively shape their children’s lives to be considered a good mother or, more precisely, an effective mother? In Toni Morison’s Sula, two central mother-daughter relationships are presented that exemplify two extremes of motherhood. Both Sula and Nel live with mothers who lean towards the extremes of involvement: Hannah provides Sula with a relatively unsupervised childhood while Helene is overly involved in Nel’s. Although both Sula and Nel fail to develop a fully-functional self-identity, Sula’s identity appears to be merely warped while Nel’s identity was ultimately smothered by her mother, suggesting that the establishment of a self is conditional not on the type of mother one had, but rather on the ultimate acceptance by the mother of the resultant identity.…show more content…
From their “lovely house with a brick porch … real lace curtains … [and a] red-velvet sofa” to her poise in winning “all social battles with presence and a conviction of the legitimacy of her authority,” Helene appeared to provide the utmost in both material comfort and intellectual development (17-18, 28). Under the traditional ideals of the heavy involvement of motherhood, Helene served her role as mother with effectivity. However, in term of how Nel’s self-identity developed, Helene crushed her daughter’s

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