Do you think Nel’s and Sula’s last names are significant? If so, in what way?
The names Wright (right) and Peace (peace) seem to have more to do with Nel’s and Sula’s respective mothers, Helene and Hannah, than with the girls themselves. Helene seems she is trying to compensate for her shameful roots, as though she is trying to right her mother’s wrongs. Helene is also preoccupied with the right way to present herself, the right way to raise her daughter, and so on. Hannah’s relationship to peacefulness is perhaps more subtle. Her laissez-faire attitude towards parenting, as well as her lack of aggression towards others, could be interpreted as peacefulness.
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