By Nina TorskaTue. 23 Apr. 20243min Read

Our Favourite Sula Quotes

In this blog, we explore pivotal quotes from "Sula," revealing deep insights into identity, community, and personal choice.
Our Favourite Sula Quotes

In Toni Morrison's "Sula," I am perpetually drawn to the profound examination of friendship, community, and the choices that define us.

This novel, rich with Morrison’s signature poetic prose, delves into the complexities of life in a small African American community, unraveling the intricate dance between individuality and collective identity.

"I don't want to make somebody else. I want to make myself." – Sula Peace

Sula's declaration of self-creation speaks to her desire for autonomy and self-definition, rejecting societal expectations. This quote resonates with me for its fierce assertion of individuality and the struggle for personal identity.

"Lonely, ain't it? Yes, but my lonely is mine. Now your lonely is somebody else's. Made by somebody else and handed to you. Ain't that something? A secondhand lonely." – Sula Peace

Sula's reflection on loneliness highlights her perspective on emotional independence and the personal ownership of one's feelings, contrasting sharply with societal pressures to conform.

"Every time I plant a seed, He say kill it before it grows. He knows what I am."   – Shadrack

Shadrack, the town's resident shell-shocked World War I veteran, provides a haunting view on his sense of fatalism and his role as the town pariah. His words underscore the themes of predestination and the cycles of life and death that pervade the novel.

"You can't do it all. You a woman and a colored woman at that. You can't act like a man. You can't be walking around all independent-like." – BoyBoy

BoyBoy’s words to Eva, Sula’s grandmother, reflect the gender and racial expectations that Morrison critiques throughout the novel, illustrating the double bind faced by black women.

"We was girls together. I don't mean no harm. But I know what every colored woman in this country is doing." – Nel Wright

Nel’s nostalgia for her past friendship with Sula, alongside her reflection on the shared experiences of black women, speaks to the deep communal bonds and the common struggles that define their lives.

"It was a fine cry - loud and long - but it had no bottom and it had no top, just circles and circles of sorrow." – Third Person Omniscient about Nel

This poignant description of Nel’s grief captures the depth of her emotional pain after a betrayal, showing Morrison’s skill at conveying complex emotions through lyrical prose.

"Like any artist without an art form, she became dangerous." –  Narrator on Sula

This observation about Sula underscores the destructiveness of unchanneled creativity and passion, reflecting Morrison’s view of art as a necessary outlet for human expression and potential.

"I sure did live in this world." – Eva Peace

Eva’s assertive declaration of her existence and impact in the world encapsulates her strong will and the pride she takes in her resilience and survival, a testament to the enduring spirit of the characters in Morrison’s narrative.

"No two men ever did things just the same way. You always dropping your hat. That way it has a little piece of you."  – Ajax

Ajax’s words to Sula reflect on individuality and the personal trademarks left behind, even in small actions. This thought echoes the novel’s theme of personal identity as unique and defining.

"Death doesn’t really worry me that much, I’m not frightened about dying. I just don’t want to."  –  Sula Peace

Sula’s casual dismissal of death highlights her unconventional outlook on life and mortality, emphasizing her nonconformist attitude that defies normative fears and expectations.

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