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This paper examines the themes of naivety, innocence and 'otherness' as represented in Toni Morrison's novel "Sula." The paper further explores how naivety and innocence are a response to the concept of "otherness." According to the paper, Morrison sees these traits negatively and not addressing the problems facing the African-American community. The paper includes a basic plot summary and analysis of the major characters. The paper concludes by stating that in her novel, "Sula" Morrison is advocating against naivety and innocence in our society as she sees them to be more harmful in the consequences in which they bring about.
From the Paper:"To understand naivety and innocence in relationship to Sula we must first examine to concept of "otherness which is where the two themes are a direct response from. There are several ways of thinking about otherness in Morrison s novel, some see it as a person being distinct from the self, other cultures, or what we reach when we go beyond the limits our of experiences and knowledge. No matter the definition, it is an interpersonal way of thinking, because people become other to each other, for they define what the other person is not. Because of this, blacks are often regarded as others when compared to whites. Another example of otherness in Sula is the experience of the war and its relationship with Shadrach; his experiences of the war make him fear his own otherness/blackness. As such he tries to make attempts to control the otherness by segregating his food into colours and hiding himself away in a straight jacket. When Shadrach finally gets home to The Bottom he starts the National Suicide Day; a naive response to dealing with otherness. He feels like the otherness in his life is incontrollable, and so the day acts as a time when it is permitted so that Shadrach can cope for the rest of the year. There are other such examples of naive ways of dealing with otherness in the novel, such as when Helene washes the otherness of Rochelle out of Nel, or when the community treat Sula as an other in order to avoid the larger issues that are affecting their society. "
Cite this Book Review:
Central Themes in "Sula" (2012, February 05) Retrieved June 20, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/central-themes-in-sula-150385/
"Central Themes in "Sula"" 05 February 2012. Web. 20 June. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/central-themes-in-sula-150385/>