Critical Analysis - Death as a Central Theme in Toni Morrison’s Sula (1280 words)

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Essay: Critical Analysis

Purpose: This essay will require you to form an original argument on Toni Morrison’s Sula. You may choose your topic, but remember that you should focus on how and why questions. In a critical analysis, you are attempting to get readers to see things your way, or at the very least, to see that your views are plausible. You are also ultimately trying to reveal something new to an audience who is already familiar with the text.
Requirements: This essay should present a clear, well-organized argument that effectively uses at least two scholarly sources and the text itself as support. The essay should include a counter-argument or “naysayer” that is used well and refuted. The essay should be at least four pages in length and be free of grammatical and typographical errors, follow MLA format.

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While reading Sula, one of the most striking aspects of the novel involved how often and vividly Toni Morrison integrated death as a theme. Several characters die during the course of the novel. Chicken Little, one of Sula Peace’s childhood friends, is tragically killed by Sula when she accidentally throws him into a pond. Shadrack, a shattered World War I veteran, decided to invent “National Suicide Day” because his life was completely destroyed during the war and felt that suicide would be a better option. Morrison also presents the reader with images of lynchings and the bulldozing of the old African-American community for nicer-looking white homes. In that respect, the entire community dies, especially after Sula meets her doom. Nel, who was Sula’s friend for most of the novel, is one of the only characters who seems to escape this fate in the novel...

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