• Sula Peace: the childhood best friend of Nel, whose return to the Bottom disrupts the whole community. The main reason for Sula's strangeness is her defiance of gender norms and traditional morality, symbolized by the birthmark "that spread from the middle of the lid toward the eyebrow, shaped something like a stemmed rose,"[2] which, according to some psychoanalytic readings, is a dual symbol with both phallic and vaginal resonance.[3]
  • Eva Peace: Sula's grandmother, who is missing one leg. Though the circumstances are never fully explained, it is suggested that she purposely put it under a train in order to collect insurance money to support her three young children after her husband left her. She has a particular relation with her children. She passes on to Hannah and then Sula a need for male attention.
  • BoyBoy: Sula's grandfather, who leaves Eva for another woman.
  • Hannah Peace: Sula's mother; Eva's eldest daughter. Hannah is a promiscuous and care-free woman who later burns to death in front of her mother and daughter. Her daughter Sula witnessed the fire but did nothing and her mother tried to save her by jumping on top of her from her bedroom window.
  • Eva (Pearl) Peace: Sula's aunt; Eva Sr.'s youngest daughter and middle child.
  • Ralph (Plum) Peace: Sula's uncle; Eva's son and youngest child. Plum was a WWI veteran and a heroin addict. Eva burns him alive with kerosene because of his mental instability.
  • Helene Wright: Nel's straight-laced and clean mother. Though the daughter of a prostitute, she was raised by her devoutly religious grandmother, Cecile.
  • Nel Wright: Sula's best friend (can also be considered a main protagonist) who does not want to be like her mother because she will never be reduced to "custard" and she will not be humiliated by other people as her mother is. Nel is the opposite of Sula: she decided to marry, have children and stay in the Bottom when she became an adult. She is Sula's best friend as they are children and then their relation turned into something more complex when Jude left Nel for Sula.
  • Shadrack: A paranoid shell-shocked WWI veteran, who returns to Sula and Nel's hometown, Medallion. He invents National Suicide Day.
  • Jude Greene: Nel's husband, who leaves Nel due to a love affair with Sula.
  • Ajax (Albert Jacks): Sula's confidant and lover.
  • Tar Baby (Pretty Johnnie): A quiet, cowardly, and reserved partially or possibly fully white man who rents out one of the rooms in the Peace household. It is believed that Tar Baby has come up to the bottom to drink himself to death.
  • The Deweys: three boys, each about one year apart from one another in age, who were each nicknamed "Dewey" by Eva. Their real names are never written in the novel, and after the introduction of these characters, the three were referred as one being, thus Morrison's use of a lowercase "d" in "dewey" for the rest of the novel.
  • Chicken Little: The little boy whom Sula accidentally drowns by throwing into the river.

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