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 children and grandchild, Sula.
Sula grew-up in a house where the women loved men. None of them married but all of them especially her mother Hannah, finding their happiness in men. Sula's childhood definitely was very interesting and different from Nel's. "It is in this unconventional and often chaotic household, filled with boarders, adopted children, and gentleman callers, that Sula Mae Peace grows up" (2).
Nel on the other hand grows-up in neatness and order. "Coming from an oppressively neat household, Nel...