Frustration and Denial in Morrison's Sula
A book which is most celebrated for its tale about friendship is found to have a more important theme and role in literature. "In Search of Self: Frustration and Denial in Toni Morrison's Sula," the author Maria Nigro believes Sula has much more important themes in modern literature. "Sula celebrates many lives: It is the story of the friendship of two African American women; but most of all, it is the story of community" (1).
And it's not just any community is the community of the Bottom. African Americans who are a working class community. Their main problem is surviving. They must work any job they can get so that they and their families can live a life with food and a roof under their head. These jobs and sacrifices shape each of their lives. Nigro claims this is the most important theme in Sula because working-class people have been left out of modern literature. "literature has been created for the cultural elite, and the rest of us have come to consider literature as a reflection of an elitist lifestyle to which the ordinary person cannot hope to relate" (1).
Sula proves to fit this hole missing in the literature world. A community that seems to have all the cards stacked against them. Being black during this era, 1915-1965, means fighting for survival. It means scrimping to get by, doing menial jobs, doing all they can to get by.
Nigro continues on describing the women of Sula. The struggles of Eva after Boy-Boy leaves, unable to get a decent paying job because she was a black woman. Finding herself sacrificing her leg for the love of her children. How Eva shaped the lives of her ...
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...introduction I believed Nigro thought the novel was important because it gave every working-class person a representation in today's literature. But by the end it's clear she meant it gave the African-American working-class person, if not the whole race a representation in today's literature. Even though each group, African-American's and the working-class community, are missing from today's literature; I think Nigro could have made her purpose or thoughts a little more clear.
This article gave me a wider prospective on the whole theme of Sula. And since I have chosen to write about the women in Sula and their struggles to survive I found the article very useful in narrowing down my argument. And even though her thesis might have not matched her entire article, Nigro definitely understood Sula, the women, and the many themes of the novel.
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