Lorain, Ohio, as Chloe Ardelia (later Anthony) Wofford; grad. Morrison, who was an influential Random House editor for nearly two decades, has been a professor at Princeton since 1989 and founded (1994) the Princeton Atelier, a writers' and performers' workshop. Her later fiction includes Awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature, she was the first African American to win. Her fiction is noted for its poetic language, lush detail, emotional intensity, and sensitive observation of American life as viewed from a variety of African-American perspectives.
And Nel, meantime got hurt, while Sula "was ill prepared for the possessiveness of the one person she felt close to" (Sula 119). This paper delves into those issues and others relevant to the writing of Toni Morrison.
On this very subject, black sexuality (the myths and the reality) and the values that emerge from the environments in which people are raised, author Patricia Hill Collins in her book Black Feminist thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, writes that there is a "mythical norm" (Collins, 165) that while "financially independent, white middle-class families" are built around a "monogamous heterosexual couple," the African-American family are "stigmatized" as "deviant people." This "myth," Collins continues, carries through and there are always allegations - though in the main they are false - about "black sexuality." However, Collins quotes Cheryl Clark, while black folks "have expended much energy trying to debunk the racist mythology which says our sexuality is depraved," there are "many of us" who, "unfortunately" (165), Clark continues, "have overcompensated and assimilated... What meanings are attributed to the works of Toni Morrison?
The complexity lies within the foundational structures of race, class, and sex that have existed for generations in our country and which forms a unique intersectionality.
It’s also confusing at times because interpretation from an African American standpoint can be new and uncomfortable to many people who have not experienced diversity in their reading material.
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic.
From girlhood," Sula shows a natural gift for daring, Lorie Watkins Fulton writes in African-American Review (Fulton, 2006).It’s almost like learning a foreign language: at times difficult, yet once understood, revelations and insight are new awakenings to a world around us which we previously were asleep in.Denial of it’s very existence is detrimental to the overall history and comprehension of America, as Toni Morrison confirms that “a criticism that needs to insist that literature is not only “universal” but also “race-free” risks lobotomizing that literature, and diminishes both the art and the artist” (“Playing” 12).Nel narrates to her husband Jude, saying that she expected Sula to "..one of those lovely college words like aesthetic or rapport, which I never understood but which I loved because they sounded so comfortable and firm" (Sula, 105).As Sula sat naked on the bed, "not even bothering to put on her clothes" because in reality she didn't need to; "she didn't look naked to me, only you did." This embarrassing scene would keep the two women from being as close as they once were, and Morrison "deconstructs the affair in light of Sula and Nel's friendship." Clearly, Sula marches to an "alternative morality," as Fulton puts it; Sula has "no affection for money, property, or things, no greed, no desire to command attention or compliments - no ego" (Sula 119).Nel's twig breaks though, and she throws it into the hole; in order to move into a closer bond with her friend, Sula breaks hers on purpose, and throws it in.They both "replaced the soil and covered the entire grave with uprooted grass" (Sula 59). So very kind and warm though that child-driven scene was, Morrison did not let the two continue on such a soft path later in life.Here is a lesson in the fact that people are products of their environments; they are not necessarily products of their cultures, but of their immediate environments. How does Morrison use history to portray her stories and her characters?Hannah had sex, casual quick sex, with men all the time, and Sula saw that and figured, hey, that's how it works. How did Morrison become known as one of the premier African-American authors in America?Sula in fact persuades Nel to join up with her in order to confront the bullies on Carpenter's Road; and when Sula shows the guts to pull her grandma's paring knife from her pocket and slice a piece of her finger off, the boys star "open-mouthed at the wound" (Morrison 54).If I can do that to myself, what you suppose I'll do to you? Nel is impressed, the boys back off, and a feminine-strengthening act by Sula helps build an even stronger friendship between Sula and Nel.