StudentShare
Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Search
Go to advanced search...
Free

Critical Analysis of the Themes of Sexuality, Family and Characterization in Morrison's Sula - Book Report/Review Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
In Toni Morison’s novel “Sula”, the themes of sexuality, family/home and characterization have played a crucial in the development of the novel…
Download free paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER93.8% of users find it useful
Critical Analysis of the Themes of Sexuality, Family and Characterization in Morrisons Sula
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Critical Analysis of the Themes of Sexuality, Family and Characterization in Morrison's Sula"

A Critical Analysis of the Themes of “sexuality, family/home and characterization” in Morison’s “Sula” Introduction In Toni Morison’s novel “Sula”, the themes of sexuality, family/home and characterization have played a crucial in the development of the novel. as a foil to other relationships such as male-female relationship, heterosexual relationship, etc. If the theme of ‘friendship’ in the novel is explored from a feminist perspective, it ultimately reveals that the male-view about the propriety of a woman character is grossly biased by the male-counterparts’ personal interests. This is to say that women are essentially objectified in the male-domain of Bottom as a product to be consumed. In the very first place, women are sexual products that, once used, can immediately be left behind. This male-female relationship is essentially a consumer-consumed relationship which is utterly in contrast with female relationship. This relationship is more of a friendship based on a sense of fellow-feeling and integrity that the male-female relationship lacks. Home/family: A Patriarchal Institution In the novel, family and home appear to be complementary to each other. Sula gets support from her family and its member. In this sense Sula’s is symbol of safety and security. In the patriarchal society in Bottom, home the very symbol of safety and security turns into a place of sexual violence. Also in the novel a home or a family is presented as a symbol of a woman’s subservience and inferiority to her male counterpart. Indeed Tony Morison shows that a family or a home is the miniature of patriarchy where the gender identity of a girl is constructed. Primarily Sula’s family is a source of consolation, comfort and affection. Such sign of affection and love is evident in Hannah’s assertion of love for Sula: “You love her, like I love Sula. I just don‘t like her” (Sula 57). In the same manner, the women of the community of Bottom love their children and husbands; meanwhile, it is also evident that they do not like them since both their husbands and children are some necessary parts of their lives, but neither of them renders a sense of completion. Indeed such husband-wife relationship in the families of Bottom reveals a totally different aspect of patriarchy. The relationship between a husband and a wife in Bottom can be compared to the relationship between a host and its parasites. But a women’s relationship with other women is totally different from such host-parasites relationships. Female relationship or friendship exists because of the inherent symbiotic benefits that they receive from it. Sexuality in the Novel Whereas female friendships are based upon affinity, the heterosexual relationships depend on the neediness of the men in Bottom. Though the traditional male-expectation in Bottom is that a woman must remain under the supervision of their parents or husbands, Nel did not care for Jude till the last moment of her camaraderie with Sula. The difference between Nel’s friendship with Sula and her relationship with Jude is that though Jude needs Nel more than she needs him, he maintains a make-belief superiority to Nel. Though Jude is superfluous to Nel’s life, social conventions of Bottom hide this fact from her. He needs to marry Nel in order to prove his manhood when he was denied to work with the white road laborers; he needs Nel for mental support during odd days, and to bear his children in order to prove his masculine abilities. Yet Nel does not have the feeling of completion from her relationship with Jude because society imposed inferiority of Nel to Jude hinders her from feeling so. Indeed objectifying and possessing a woman as a wife are two primary features that construct the basis of male-female sexuality in Bottom. These two features keep a woman away from feeling their individual existences in the society. As a result, Sula is found to have physical relationship with a number of men including some whites. Eventually she abandons them after having sex also. But her friendship with Nel continually exists because both Nel and Sula feel their individuality in such relationship that also helps them to feel their self-worth. Unlike the male-female relationship, they do not feel themselves as property in their friendship. Whereas Jude views Nel as a “product of male desire”, in Sula’s eye, Nel is an individual. In her relationship with her male-counterparts, she continually feels that she is being owned by them. Therefore, in reflection, she also objectifies Ajax as a mixture of gold foil and alabaster. She describes her as a Greco-Roman statue instead of a real man. This view of Sula about Ajax is essentially the reflection of the male-view about women. When Ajax abandons Sula, her sense of being owned further becomes intensified, as she describes herself as a “torn-off paper doll” (136). Characterization in the Novel In the novel, Sula is a developing character. Indeed her character develops through both conflict and companionship. Unlike Nel or other women in Sula is in direct conflict with the male-expectations of the community. She has tried to possess Ajax, but she becomes frustrated after being failed. In contrast to her relationship with Nel is free of such power conflict for owning other. Neither Nel nor Sula tries to own and subdue each other. Indeed in Nel-Sula friendship, both of them are complementary to each other, as the narrator says, “their meeting was [. . .] fortunate, for it let them use each other to grow on” (Sula 51). The underlying bond of Nel-Sula friendship is of a platonic one that is based on both love and liking. In fact, Nel and Sula are “two throats and one eye” (Sula 147). Again the narrator explains Nel’s ecstasy at the return of her friend to Bottom after ten years, “It was like getting the use of an eye back, having a cataract removed. Her old friend had come home. Sula. Who made her laugh, who made her see old things with new eyes, in whose presence she felt clever, gentle and a little raunchy” (Sula 95). After Sula elopes with Jude, Nel mourns his absence because of the necessity of him in her life. But once she visits Sula’s grave, she feels that she has missed Sula also because the certification of her individual existence ends at the break-up of their friendship. Nel loves her husband but does not like him because he does not admit her individual existence. But she loves and, at the same time, likes Sula because she feels her individuality in her relationship with Sula. Thus Sula is both a necessity and a passion in Nel’s life. Even though Nel’s friendship with Sula has ended, she longs for other females’ companionship because she still misses her complement as well as the courage to exist through one’s will. Conclusion In Morison’s novel “Sula”, ‘friendship’ as a theme has been manipulated to work out other themes such as love, womanhood, patriarchy, etc. In the novel, ‘female friendship’ itself is a self-evident feminist theme. Nel as well as other women in Bottom long for female friendship since male-female or husband-wife relationship does not prove to be enough to fulfill their expectations. Friendship among the female essentially turns into a parameter of individuality and independent existence. Also Friendship appears to be a source of inspiration and courage in patriarchy where men shake off their female counterparts as well as their responsibilities immediately after having sex with them. Once their husbands evade from their duties and responsibilities, having a friend encourages looking forward with new hopes. Works Cited Morrison, Toni. Sula. New York: Plume, 1988. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Critical Analysis of the Themes of Sexuality, Family and Book Report/Review”, n.d.)
Critical Analysis of the Themes of Sexuality, Family and Book Report/Review. Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/literature/1438076-novel-study-on-i-know-why-he-caged-bird-sings
(Critical Analysis of the Themes of Sexuality, Family and Book Report/Review)
Critical Analysis of the Themes of Sexuality, Family and Book Report/Review. https://studentshare.org/literature/1438076-novel-study-on-i-know-why-he-caged-bird-sings.
“Critical Analysis of the Themes of Sexuality, Family and Book Report/Review”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/literature/1438076-novel-study-on-i-know-why-he-caged-bird-sings.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Critical Analysis of the Themes of Sexuality, Family and Characterization in Morrison's Sula

Property Investment Analysis

The Red Book valuation figures offer useful guidance on valuation, however they contain overlapping material from diverse sources. The Mallinson Report has identified the need for the RICS to publish a single, comprehensive and user friendly source of standards for valuers and establish a single point of coordination in the institution’s delivery of valuation services. The Report also states that the information provided needs to be more specific so that it place more specific further education demands on valuers. Additionally, there must be additional power provided to the Institution to investigate problem cases and take disciplinary action when it becomes necessary, despite the possibility of courts exerting a restricting...
13 Pages(3250 words)Assignment

Internal and External Environmental Analysis for the Bakery Business

Liberalization of foreign investment and technology policy of the government is supportive of establishing industrial units in the country.

Threat: The UK food regulatory authority is planning to enforce the EC Regulations relating to food labeling. The labeling requirements under the new regulations will affect the food industry as the suppliers will be legally obliged to disclose the GM content of foods to the caterers. Thus business firms in the bakery industry also will be effected through the exclusion of flexible manner of labeling arrangements in the case of flour confectionery involving GM Soya or maize. (Genetically modified and novel foods (labeling) (England) regulations, 2000).

Trend: The new subs...
6 Pages(1500 words)Case Study

The Necessity of Job Analysis

The importance of job analysis in human resources is to help the management to ascertain and endorse the use of certain activities which take place in employment such as employment procedures such as training, choice of the appropriate employees, reparation as well as evaluation and appraisal. It helps in developing an organized database containing information concerning the job (Singh, P 2008 pp. 82-84).
Job analysis is significant into the employers when selecting the employees who are suitable for a particular position in the organization. In the recruitment process, it is usually possible to make mistakes with regard to employee selection. It enables the management to understand the content of advertisements for vacant po...
7 Pages(1750 words)Coursework

Analysis of OReilly v Mackman Case

Judicial review is a concept which is constitutionally undecided as it on one side, it shores up the rule of law, democracy, and pre-eminence of parliament by facilitating the courts to check the boundaries of government authority and on another side, the courts are open to the decision on the plants based on the fact of separation of authorities that are intimating with the verdicts of democratically elected institutions. Judicial review is not apprehended with the virtues of government assessment but deals with whether the deciding authority has remained within the legal boundaries and whether broad principles of rationality and fairness adhere. The constitutional basis of judicial review is debated as one view holds that it is...
8 Pages(2000 words)Case Study

Comparative Family Analysis

The second component of this essay will be a comparative analysis with the American family to the Arab family, generally speaking, but also clearly described by Homa Hoodfar, in her book Between Marriage and the Market. This essay will discuss the impact of globalization on different types of families in different societies and cultures. The terms ‘traditional’, ‘modern’ and ‘postmodern’ will be defined, elaborated upon and discussed on a continuum of change. Social change, in the face of globalization, will be discussed in relation to how cultures and families have grown or resisted the forces of globalization. We now turn to an exploration of the types of families in the world and follow...
6 Pages(1500 words)Coursework

Critical Review of Goth: Identity, Style and Subculture by Paul Hodkinson

The allure from this standpoint is seen by the author. This report measures mainly the methodology that Hodkinson uses, which is grounded theory research, and the report also examines questions of fixed vs. flexible research. The findings of the research are briefly presented before the current research investigation concludes.

The Goth subculture is founded on principles of viewing some of what society outside this subculture, or mainstream culture, views as abhorrent or negative. There is some fetish tendency in this subculture towards the macabre and death, with face-paint style makeup and mourning clothing being prominent features of belongingness, which are certainly not reflective of mainstream fashion and makeup....
6 Pages(1500 words)Book Report/Review

Analysis of Tourism and Hospitality Law Case

 The main issue that needs to be tackled first is whether there is a valid contract between Richard Brat, carrying on trade as Brighton Greens, (buyer) and Molly and Kelly trading in First Grade Granny Smith apples as Holy Farm.

Apparently, there was, when considering their verbal and written mail sent by Richard to Holy Farm on August 1 reading as follows –“Please deliver 20 boxes –Granny Smith ‘Brighton Greens’. Cheque mailed.“

It may be seen that the mail order does not specify the category or grade of apples to be supplied, but one of the implied conditions of sale could be that the goods ordered need to correspond with the goods inspected and tested.

In th...
8 Pages(2000 words)Case Study

Economic Analysis of India

The country’s economy is fast growing with a stable political system that encourages foreign investment although with certain restrictions. The country generally has good energy, transport and communication systems which make the cost of doing business affordably.

The Republic of India found South of Asia is by far the world’s most populous democracy and ranks seventh largest in terms of geographical area (Brown, 1994). India is also the second most highly populated country in the world. The country has a rich culture with four major religions having originally emerged from it; Sikhism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. The Indian Republic consists of seven union territories and 28 states and ranks twelfth la...
8 Pages(2000 words)Case Study

Analysis of Educational Website

Since antiquity, education remained a major component of human societies; however, until a few decades ago, it existed in the society in its traditional and conventional form that involved one-to-one interaction of teachers with their students in classrooms. For a few years, educators and scholars have witnessed rapid advancements in the field of information and technology that have altered almost every sector of society in a rapid manner, and so the education sector as well. In such advancements, the internet has now become one of the most popular platforms for students, teachers, businesspersons, and individuals from every sector to acquire education and information within a few clicks and minutes. In other words, the availabili...
7 Pages(1750 words)Article

Analysis of Articles about Climate Change

...Climate change Can we imagine an Earth where there are no green mountains, no deep blue seas and no living creatures? No. But a disaster of such magnitude and dimension is looming over Earth. Humans have identified this threat, defined it and given it a name, global warming. This dangerous proposition is based on the truth that even a 5 % increase in the surface temperature on Earth can wipe out life from this beautiful planet. And the temperature is increasing as never before. It was in 1990s that the world began to hear serious warnings on global warming and climate change. The summary for policy makers prepared as part of the first assessment report by Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change was the first ever in depth... change Can we ...
6 Pages(1500 words)Literature review
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Book Report/Review on topic Critical Analysis of the Themes of Sexuality, Family and Characterization in Morrison's Sula for FREE!

Contact Us