Sexism In Sula

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Toni Morrison’s novel, Sula follows the lives of two women, Nel Wright and Sula Peace, and the struggles they and their friendship face through sexism, racism, and the fault of each other and their community. Sula Peace is a courageous, independent, feminist woman who is detested by her community, which creates contrast between her and her best friend, Nel Wright. Unlike Sula, Nel followed the more traditional lifestyle of getting married and becoming a mother and well-respected woman of the community. In a way, Sula Peace creates a sense of community in her town, the Bottom, which is lost after her death. I have chosen to analyze the antagonist heroine of Sula because Sula was a complicated but inspiring character with several flaws, she had…show more content…
As all of the characters view Sula differently, they also all interpreted Sula’s birthmark depending on how they felt about her. The birthmark serves as a symbol of the ambiguity of the evilness and goodness in Sula’s character. The narrator compares Sula’s birthmark to a rose, perhaps to draw attention to Sula’s rose like beauty and positive traits, while hinting that she still has thorns, or weaknesses and flaws. Other characters think Sula’s birthmark looks like a poisonous snake, suggesting that there is no good in Sula. Another interpretation was that her birthmark looked like her mother’s ashes, whom Sula watched burn to death as a child. This interpretation suggests that Sula was destined to see that tragedy in her life. Due to the birthmark’s obvious and always visible placement, it suggests that Sula is always vulnerable to people judging her based on who she is, a black woman, in addition to judging her about the things they have heard about her without really knowing who she is on the…show more content…
I admire Sula because she is incredibly valorous and strong. Faced with racism, sexism, and hatred, Sula went on with her life and had confidence that she could accomplish anything. In her eyes, she was unstoppable and proved a lot of people wrong. Sula went to college and returned to her hometown and faced the hatred of the judgmental community toward her, but she never let it bring her down. Nearly everyone in the Bottom openly loathed Sula, but Sula did not care. Although Sula is an incredible character, I disliked the fact that she had an affair with Nel’s husband, which resulted in Nel’s marriage falling apart. At the same time, I do not hate Sula for this because Sula and Nel shared everything, including boyfriends when they were teenagers, and after not seeing Nel for ten years, Sula may not have realized that sharing husbands was not an option, especially given the house she grew up in. If I were in Sula’s shoes, I would have apologized to Nel for having an affair with her husband. Sula never apologized, and that led to Nel and Sula not talking for several years until the day Sula died. It was only after Sula’s death that Nel realized she was not mourning her husband leaving her, but rather letting the affair destroy her friendship with Sula. So, I would have definitely apologized so that Sula and Nel would have lived happier lives. Regardless of her major character flaws, Sula is still an honorable

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