Rushton Journal of Undergraduate Humanities Research


When women dare to self-actualize they frequently face barriers that tear their spirits down, leading to guilt, shame, and feelings of inadequacy. For the lineage of women in Toni Morrison’s Sula, these consequences are fatal for everyone. As these factors thwart fundamental social development, communal collapse becomes easier, leaving entire cultures vulnerable to erasure. Whether self-determination is expressed through promiscuity or properness, paradoxical moralism leaves no room for either. This essay explores how Morrison offers a retrospective look from the graveyard of a town while illustrating the impact of the loss of friends, lovers, and communities.