Institutional Scholarship

“And She Aches Just Like a Woman, But She Breaks Like a Little Girl": The Implications of the Lack of Community-Accepted Outlets for Female Self-Creation in Toni Morrison’s Sula

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dc.contributor.advisor Solomon, Asali
dc.contributor.author Winick, Gabrielle
dc.date.accessioned 2013-07-29T18:46:56Z
dc.date.available 2013-07-29T18:46:56Z
dc.date.issued 2013
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/11511
dc.description.abstract In Sula, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel and Sula’s relationship as they go from girlhood friends to enemies when their friendship falls apart in adulthood. Morrison uses the girls’ friendship and the subsequent dissolution of their friendship to demonstrate the importance of the bonds formed between Black women and how these bonds are not encouraged or accepted in adulthood. Through Nel and Sula’s friendship, Morrison argues that friendships between pre‐pubescent girls are the most rewarding and freeing relationships for Black women. These girlhood bonds provide the participants with a space to create their selves outside of the perceptions the community has for Black women. Nel and Sula’s friendship, however, does not exist completely outside of society’s judgmental gaze and expectations for Black women. In this essay, I use the contrast between Nel and Sula’s relatively emancipatory girlhood friendship where they are free to construct their individual sense of self and the experiences and relationships with adult Black women in Medallion to demonstrate how Morrison uses the freeing space of girlhood friendship to reveal the limitations and restrictions imposed upon adult Black women by the community.
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/us/
dc.subject.lcsh Morrison, Toni. Sula
dc.subject.lcsh Morrison, Toni -- Criticism and interpretation
dc.subject.lcsh Friendship in literature
dc.subject.lcsh African American girls -- In literature
dc.subject.lcsh African American women in literature
dc.subject.lcsh African American women -- Social life and customs -- In literature
dc.title “And She Aches Just Like a Woman, But She Breaks Like a Little Girl": The Implications of the Lack of Community-Accepted Outlets for Female Self-Creation in Toni Morrison’s Sula
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Haverford users only


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