Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sula The Heroine
Before answering the question "Is Sula the hero/heroine of the novel," the term hero needs to be defined. Growing up, I was exposed to heros that showed moral acts such as courage, honor and personali integrity. This is the stereotypical view of most heroes thanks to Superman and friends. But what does a hero really do? I would make the argument that Sula is in fact the hero of the novel. Sula does not show a lot of moral honor within the story which can be seen through several examples, one of which is sleeping with Jude. This is not Sula's role in the story though. Sula is in fact the heroine of the story. To me, a hero is someone who affects the community for positive outcomes. Sula's presence after college puts the community in harmony. Because they are able to label her as the source of evil, their own lives become better. After Sula's death, the community plunges into turmoil. So how is Sula still the heroine even if the community starts to tear itself apart? The answer lies in the end of Nel's story. Part of being a hero is saving people, and Sula does this for Nel. Nel is in constant denial about specifics concerning the ending of her marriage. Fortunately, Nel comes to a realization that her denial lies in the regrets that she has over the way her life has gone. Nel is able to realize where she can grow in society and thus can be seen as being saved mentally and emotionally. Sula, even though she did not intend on "saving" anybody, saves her bestfriend. She is able to let Nel take one more step towards a personal harmony, which I believe is a heroic act. Nel is essentially saved from her denial and guilt. This act is something heroic even though it does not conform to traditional hero narratives, or does it?