Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Toni Morrison’s Sula presents the relationship between cause and effect with Morrison’s portrayal of Sula. Sula does not behave heroically .The improvements that her sinister actions bring to the community do not last. Sula’s wickedness causes the people in the Bottom community to improve their own behavior. However, after Sula dies the moral standards in the Bottom begin to deteriorate. Morrison makes it clear that Sula returns to the bottom as a self-centered, cunning, and a morally depraved woman. She notes that “ When got about Eva being put in Sunnydale, the people in the Bottom shook their heads and said Sula was a roach…the saw how she took Jude , then ditched him for others”(112). The reference to Sula as a ‘Roach’ emphasizes her nature as a morally unclean, user that steels her best friend’s husband and takes her own grandmothers house from her.
Sula’s behavior causes the Bottom community to label Sula evil and work to improve their own moral standards. For example, Tea Pot’s mother neglects him until she believes that Sula attempts to harm him. Morrison states “The very idea of a grown woman hurting her boy kept her teeth on edge. She became the most devoted mother She became the most devoted mother: sober, clean and industrious” (114). As a result of Sula’s negative reputation, Teapot’s mother receives the inspiration to improve and take better care of her son. Sula’s wicked behavior causes this positive reaction initially, but after Sula’s death Teapot’s mother reverts back to her old ways. Sula does not behave heroically and seems to do more harm than good in the end.

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