Defying Social Norms In Toni Morrison's Sula

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Conformity and defying social norms were a common theme this week. In Toni Morrison’s book Sula, Sula Peace actively opposes gender roles. She does this by doing what she would like to do without the burden of her town’s expectations. Sula enjoyed sex and disregarded all of the opinions of the townspeople around committing adultery. Eli commented that it was even more unacceptable in that time period, but Sula’s main priority is being authentic. Even though she urged men to cheat she was still a risk taker and lived spontaneously, which was even more forbidden for a black woman and like Lauren said, the men were also to blame, not just Sula. Not many people in the Bottom share that trait because they are afraid of social isolation. For example, Nel didn’t stray far from the status quo due to her upbringing. Nel’s mother taught her to be proper and follow the set of rules given to her. Her mother often reminded her to “pull her nose” (28) so Nel could have a more appealing nose. On the other hand, Sula lived in an unconventional household with a constant flow of different people coming and going out of the house. Since she was not exposed to a father figure, she was not tainted by patriarchal expectations of the genders. She didn’t witness …show more content…

As she discussed in her TED Talk “The Danger of Hiding Who You Are,” she hid for a while so she did not have to face discrimination based on her sexual orientation. As Kayla said “Sula was comfortable with being different. Morgana was first afraid to be different because society is homogeneous.” What makes Bailey different from Sula is that Sula was content with her nonconformity, ever since she was young. When being harassed by a few boys Sula showed them her courageousness by cutting her own finger (54). Especially in the early 1900s, women are expected to be submissive and polite. Sula is more worried about her and Nel’s safety than these

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