The Themes and Symbols of Sula: An Analysis of Toni Morrison's Novel (EPUB)
Toni Morrison Sula Epub Books: A Guide for Readers
If you are a fan of Toni Morrison, one of the most celebrated and influential American writers of the 20th century, you might have heard of her second novel, Sula. Published in 1973, Sula is a powerful and complex story of friendship, betrayal, identity, and community in a black neighborhood in Ohio. It is also a book that has sparked a lot of debate and controversy over its themes, characters, and style.
toni morrison sula epub books
In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about Sula, from its plot and analysis to its reception and evaluation. We will also show you how to get Sula in epub format, which is a popular digital format for reading books on various devices. Whether you are new to Sula or want to revisit it, this article will help you appreciate and enjoy this masterpiece by Toni Morrison.
What is Sula about?
Sula is a novel that follows the lives of two black girls, Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who grow up as best friends in a poor neighborhood called the Bottom in Medallion, Ohio. The novel spans from 1919 to 1965, covering their childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Along the way, they experience love, loss, betrayal, violence, racism, sexism, and death.
The novel is divided into two parts. The first part covers the years from 1919 to 1927, when Nel and Sula are still young and inseparable. They share their dreams, secrets, fears, and joys as they explore their world together. They also witness some tragic events that shape their views on life and society.
The second part covers the years from 1937 to 1965, when Nel and Sula have grown apart and taken different paths. Nel marries Jude Greene, a respectable man who works on the railroad, and settles down as a wife and mother in the Bottom. Sula leaves the Bottom after graduating from high school and travels around the country for ten years, living a free-spirited and unconventional life. She returns to the Bottom in 1937, causing a stir among her family and neighbors with her rebellious and independent attitude. She also rekindles her friendship with Nel, but soon betrays her by having an affair with Jude.
The novel ends in 1965, when Nel visits Sula on her deathbed and realizes that she has lost not only her husband but also her best friend. She also realizes that she has been living a life of conformity and repression, while Sula has been living a life of authenticity and liberation. She finally understands that she and Sula are two sides of the same coin, and that they need each other to be whole.
Why is Sula important?
Sula is important for many reasons. First of all, it is a novel that showcases Toni Morrison's talent as a writer who can create rich and vivid characters, settings, themes, symbols, and styles. She uses various literary techniques, such as flashbacks, foreshadowing, irony, metaphor, and allegory, to weave a complex and compelling narrative that challenges and engages the reader.
Secondly, it is a novel that explores the experiences and perspectives of black women in America, especially during the first half of the 20th century. It addresses issues such as racism, sexism, classism, violence, oppression, resistance, identity, community, and culture. It also celebrates the strength, resilience, creativity, and diversity of black women, who have to navigate a hostile and oppressive society while maintaining their dignity and humanity.
Thirdly, it is a novel that questions and subverts the conventional norms and expectations of society, especially regarding gender roles, sexuality, morality, and family. It presents two contrasting models of womanhood: Nel, who conforms to the traditional role of a wife and mother, and Sula, who rejects the traditional role and pursues her own desires and interests. It also challenges the notions of good and evil, right and wrong, by showing that both Nel and Sula have their flaws and virtues, and that they are both products of their environment and choices.
How to get Sula in epub format?
If you want to read Sula in epub format, which is a digital format that allows you to adjust the font size, layout, and appearance of the text on your device, you have several options. You can either buy it from an online bookstore or library that sells or lends epub books, such as Amazon Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble Nook Store, Google Play Books, Apple Books, Kobo Store, or OverDrive. You can also download it for free from a website that offers public domain or open access epub books, such as Project Gutenberg, Open Library, or Internet Archive. However, you should be careful about the quality and legality of the epub books you download from these websites.
Once you have downloaded or bought Sula in epub format, you need to have an app or software that can read epub files on your device. Some popular apps or software for reading epub files are Calibre (for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux), Adobe Digital Editions (for Windows, Mac OS X), iBooks (for iOS), Google Play Books (for Android), or Kindle (for Amazon devices). You can also use an online converter to convert epub files to other formats that are compatible with your device.
Sula: A Summary and Analysis
The setting and the characters
The setting of Sula is crucial for understanding the novel. The novel is set in a fictional black neighborhood called the Bottom in Medallion, Ohio. The Bottom was originally given to a black slave by his white master as a joke. The master told him that it was the bottom of heaven because it was on top of a hill overlooking the rich valley where the whites lived. The slave believed him and settled there with his family. Over time, more blacks moved to the Bottom and formed a tight-knit community with its own culture and history.
The Bottom is contrasted with another neighborhood called the New River Road in Medallion. The New River Road is where the whites live in big houses with lawns and gardens. It is also where the new industries and businesses are located. The New River Road represents progress and prosperity for the whites but displacement and exploitation for the blacks. The blacks who work on the New River Road are paid low wages and treated poorly by their white employers. The blacks who live on the Bottom are threatened by the urban development plans that aim to take over their land and destroy their homes.
The characters of Sula are also influenced by their setting. The main characters are Nel Wright and Sula Peace. Nel is the daughter of Helene Wright, a respectable woman who values order and propriety. Helene was raised by her strict grandmother Cecile Sabat in New Orleans after her mother Rochelle left her to work as a prostitute. Helene married Wiley Wright, a seaman who is rarely home. She moved with him to Medallion and gave birth to Nel. She raised Nel with strict discipline and high expectations.
Sula is the daughter of Hannah Peace, a beautiful woman who loves sex and has many lovers. Hannah is the daughter of Eva Peace, a matriarch who lost her husband BoyBoy and raised her three children alone. Eva also took in several boarders and orphans who needed a home. She lost one leg after jumping out of a window to save her son Plum from a fire. She later killed Plum by setting him on fire again when he became a drug addict. She also watched Hannah die in a fire without trying to save her. Nel and Sula are opposites in many ways. Nel is quiet, obedient, and conventional. Sula is loud, rebellious, and unconventional. Nel seeks stability and security. Sula seeks adventure and freedom. Nel follows the rules and expectations of society. Sula breaks the rules and expectations of society. Despite their differences, they are drawn to each other because they share a sense of loneliness and isolation from their families and their community. Other important characters in the novel are: - Jude Greene: Nel's husband who works on the railroad and leaves her for Sula. - Ajax: Sula's lover who is a handsome and mysterious man who likes airplanes. - Shadrack: A war veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and creates National Suicide Day. - Tar Baby: A white alcoholic who lives with Eva and has a crush on Sula. - The Deweys: Three boys of different ages and races who are all named Dewey by Eva and act as one person. - Chicken Little: A little boy who dies after Sula accidentally throws him into the river. - Nel's sons: Three unnamed boys who are neglected by Nel after Jude leaves her. The themes and the symbols
The novel explores several themes and symbols that reflect Toni Morrison's vision and message. Some of the major themes and symbols are: - Friendship: The novel examines the nature and meaning of friendship, especially between women. Nel and Sula have a bond that is stronger than any other relationship in their lives. They complement each other and complete each other. They also hurt each other and betray each other. Their friendship is complex and ambiguous, but also powerful and enduring. - Identity: The novel explores the question of who we are and how we define ourselves. Nel and Sula have different views on their identity. Nel defines herself by her roles as a wife and a mother. Sula defines herself by her choices and actions. Both of them struggle to find their true selves and express their individuality in a society that tries to mold them into stereotypes. - Community: The novel depicts the life and culture of a black community in America, especially during the first half of the 20th century. The Bottom is a place where the blacks have created their own history, traditions, values, and beliefs. It is also a place where they face discrimination, oppression, violence, and poverty from the dominant white society. The Bottom is both a source of pride and shame, support and conflict, joy and sorrow for its residents. - Gender: The novel challenges the conventional norms and expectations of gender roles, especially for women. Nel and Sula represent two different models of womanhood: one that conforms to the traditional role of a wife and mother, and one that rejects the traditional role and pursues her own desires and interests. The novel also shows how both models are influenced by their mothers, who have their own views on femininity, sexuality, morality, and family. - Good vs Evil: The novel questions the notions of good and evil, right and wrong, by showing that they are not absolute or fixed, but relative and fluid. Nel and Sula are both good and evil, depending on how they are perceived by themselves or others. They also change over time, as they grow older and wiser. The novel suggests that good and evil are not inherent qualities, but social constructs that depend on context, perspective, and choice. Some of the major symbols in the novel are: Fire is associated with several characters who have intense emotions or experiences, such as Hannah, Eva, Plum, Sula, Jude, Ajax, and Chicken Little. Fire also represents the changes and conflicts that occur in the Bottom and in the lives of the characters. - Water: Water symbolizes life, death, rebirth, and escape in the novel. Water is associated with several characters who have life-changing or life-ending events near or in water, such as Nel, Sula, Shadrack, Chicken Little, and Tar Baby. Water also represents the possibility of leaving or returning to the Bottom and to oneself. - Birds: Birds symbolize freedom, flight, and fate in the novel. Birds are associated with several characters who have a desire or a destiny to fly away or soar above their circumstances, such as Sula, Ajax, Chicken Little, and the Deweys. Birds also represent the signs and omens that foreshadow or influence the outcomes of the characters' actions. - Birthmark: Sula's birthmark symbolizes her uniqueness, her identity, and her relationship with Nel. Sula's birthmark is a small black spot above her eye that resembles different things to different people. To Nel, it looks like a stem of a rose. To Shadrack, it looks like a tadpole. To Ajax, it looks like a copperhead snake. To Tar Baby, it looks like a closed fist. Sula's birthmark reflects her personality and her role in the novel. She is a rose that blooms and wilts. She is a tadpole that swims and transforms. She is a snake that seduces and bites. She is a fist that fights and resists. Sula: A Critical Reception and Evaluation
The reviews and the awards
Sula received mixed reviews when it was first published in 1973. Some critics praised it for its originality, complexity, and insight into the lives of black women. Others criticized it for its ambiguity, obscurity, and negativity towards black men and black community. Some readers also found it difficult to relate to or sympathize with the characters, especially Sula.
However, over time, Sula has gained more recognition and appreciation as one of Toni Morrison's best works. It has been widely studied and taught in various academic fields and levels. It has also been adapted into other media forms, such as an opera and a film.
Sula was nominated for the National Book Award in 1975. It also won the Ohioana Book Award in 1978. Toni Morrison later won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993 for her entire body of work.
The controversies and the challenges
It has also been accused of promoting feminism, lesbianism, nihilism, and anti-blackness by some critics and groups. It has also been challenged for its portrayal of historical events and figures, such as the Great War, the Harlem Renaissance, and Marcus Garvey. However, Sula has also been defended and celebrated by many supporters and advocates who argue that it is a valuable and meaningful work of literature that reflects and enriches the diversity and complexity of human experience and expression. They also argue that it is a work of art that challenges and inspires the reader to think critically and creatively about themselves and their society. The legacy and the influence
Sula has left a lasting legacy and influence on the literary world and beyond. It has inspired and influenced many writers and artists who have followed in Toni Morrison's footsteps or have admired her work. Some examples are Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé Knowles, and Barack Obama.
Sula has also contributed to the development and recognition of several literary genres and movements, such as African American literature, women's literature, postmodern literature, magical realism, and Afrofuturism. It has also sparked various discussions and debates on topics such as race, gender, class, culture, history, identity, community, morality, and aesthetics.
Sula has also become a part of the popular culture and the collective consciousness of many people around the world. It has been referenced and alluded to in various media forms, such as music, movies, television shows, comics, games, and memes. It has also been translated into many languages and read by millions of people across different countries and cultures.
Sula: A Reading Experience and Recommendation
The benefits and the drawbacks of reading Sula in epub format
Reading Sula in epub format has its benefits and drawbacks. Some of the benefits are:
- You can read it on any device that supports epub files, such as a computer, a tablet, a smartphone, or an e-reader. - You can adjust the font size, layout, and appearance of the text according to your preference and comfort. - You can access it anytime and anywhere without carrying a physical book. - You can save space and money by storing it digitally instead of buying it physically. Some of the drawbacks are: - You might miss the feel and smell of a physical book. - You might experience eye strain or fatigue from reading on a screen for a long time. - You might encounter technical issues or errors with the epub file or the app or software that reads it. - You might lose or damage your epub file or your device if you are not careful. The tips and the resources for reading Sula in epub format
If you decide to read Sula in epub format, here are some tips and resources that might help you: - Choose a reliable and compatible app or software that can read epub files on your device. Some popular apps or software for reading epub files are Calibre (for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux), Adobe Digital Editions (for Windows, Mac OS X), iBooks (for iOS), Google Play Books (for Android), or Kindle (for Amazon devices). - Choose a comfortable and suitable font size, layout, and appearance of the text for your reading experience. You can also use features such as bookmarks, highlights, notes, and dictionary to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the text. - Take breaks and rest your eyes from reading on a screen for a long time. You can also use blue light filters or glasses to reduce eye strain or fatigue. - Backup your epub file and your device regularly to prevent losing or damaging them. You can also use cloud storage or online services to store and access your epub file from different devices. - Use online guides and reviews to help you navigate and appreciate the novel. Some examples are SparkNotes, CliffsNotes, Shmoop, LitCharts, and Goodreads. The personal opinion and the rating of Sula in epub format
My personal opinion and rating of Sula in epub format are as follows:
I think Sula is a brilliant and beautiful novel that explores the complexities and contradictions of human nature and society. I enjoyed reading it in epub format because it was convenient and customizable. I was able to read it on my laptop and my phone whenever and wherever I wanted. I was also able to adjust the font size, layout, and appearance of the text to suit my preference and comfort.
However, I also found some challenges and limitations in reading it in epub format. Sometimes, I missed the feel and smell of a physical book. Sometimes, I felt tired or distracted from reading on a screen for a long time. Sometimes, I encountered technical issues or errors with the epub file or the app that read it. Sometimes, I wished I had a physical copy of the book to share or lend to others.
Overall, I would rate Sula in epub format 4 out of 5 stars. I think it is a great way to read this novel, but it is not perfect. I would recommend it to anyone who likes Toni Morrison's work or who is interested in reading a novel that challenges and inspires them.
It is a novel that explores various themes and symbols, such as friendship, identity, community, gender, good vs evil, fire, water, birds, and birthmark. It is a novel that has received mixed reviews and awards, faced controversies and challenges, and left a legacy and influence on the literary world and beyond. It is a novel that can be read in epub format, which has its benefits and drawbacks. It is a novel that I personally enjoyed and appreciated, and that I would recommend to others. FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions about Sula:
- Q: What is the meaning of the title Sula? - A: The title Sula is the name of one of the main characters of the novel. Sula Peace is a black woman who lives a free-spirited and unconventional life. She is also Nel Wright's best friend and Jude Greene's lover. Her name means peace or tranquility in some languages, but it also sounds like sultry or sullen in English. Her name reflects her personality and her role in the novel. - Q: What is the significance of National Suicide Day in Sula? - A: National Suicide Day is a day that Shadrack, a war veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, creates and celebrate