Sula

The Multidimensional Birthmark: A Study of Sula's Character 11th Grade

As intricate entities, humans are like prisms: we have several layers that make up our inherent nature. During various interactions and instances, we react differently and thus allow novel parts of us to become apparent. Sula, in Toni Morrison's novel of the same name, is a character of complexity, whose diverse qualities materialize when she faces new situations. Her manifold attributes manifest as the birthmark above her eye. Sula’s inherently complex nature causes people in her life to perceive the mark differently. From snake, to rose, to tadpole, these varying perceptions all mirror symbols created in their imagination, yet all represent real attributes of Sula’s disposition. To render as a progressive, complex, and individual person, Sula embraces the impurity of her birthmark and allows all of its symbolism to envelope her in her inherent characteristics: rose sensuality, snake cunning, and tadpole transformation.

Living in a community where African- American females had very set roles, Sula allowed herself to ignore societal norms and embrace the sensuality of the rose. As a sexually free woman, Sula provided a center for herself through sexual intercourse. Unlike other women, she embraced sensuality and passion. She...

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