Writing Techniques in Sula by Toni Morrison

There are many aspects of story that come together to create a complete narrative. A lot of the tools used by writers are intentional and serve the purpose of driving home certain aspects of the story or creating and engaging, and entertaining narrative. Toni Morrison—the author of Sula—is no different. Morrison employs many writing techniques and tools in her narrative Sula. It is important for the reader to be aware of and understand some of these narrative tools that the author uses because it allows the reader to gain a better understanding and appreciation for the narrative. In Sula a few narrative techniques that allow for the argument of women experiences to shine through are the use of a third person narrator, and gaps; throughout the story these tools allow the reader to become interested in and focus in on women experiences.
The narrator (not to be confused with the author) is who tells the narrative in a majority of stories; Sula by Toni Morrison is no different. In Sula the story is narrated from a third-person perspective through direct discourse and indirect thought. That is to say that the action is being narrated by a person not present in the story and the reader can still “hear” the character talking. It is important to note that this story is a third person narrative because the character narrating the story is not present in the book, they are a third party person telling the story. Because of this view the reader is able to look into multiple characters thoughts and actions from an outsider perspective. As Smith argues in “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism”: “The use of Black women’s language and cultural experiences in books by Black woman about Black women results in a miraculously rich coalescing of form a...

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... The reader is expected to go above and beyond simply reading a book. Everything an author does is purposeful and intentional, it is up to the reader to recognize these things and get the most out of the book they can. Although Morrison employs many other narrative techniques within Sula being able to recognize the narrator, the cruxes and the themes the reader can gain a better understanding and appreciation for the narrative they are reading and the argument (in this case) that Morrison is making for women experiences.

Works Cited
Abbot, Porter H. The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative. New York: Cambridge UP, 2009.

Morrison, Toni. Sula. New York: Random House, 2004. Print.

Smith, Barbara. "Toward a Black Feminist Criticism." AALT: 132-45. Print.

Williams, Sherley. "Some Implications of Womanist Theory." Callaloo 27 (1986): 303-08. Jstor.
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