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Character Roles (Protagonist, Antagonist...)
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Tar Baby and the Deweys
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Meet the Cast
Sula is really complex and hard to understand at times, but we think that's what makes her such a cool literary character. We sometimes feel sorry her, sometimes appreciate her courage, and sometim...
Nel seems to be a simple, straightforward character. But as we learn more about her, especially as she becomes an adult, she surprises us. Just like Sula, Nel challenges us to rethink the character...
Shadrack exposes us to the horrors of war. He returns from World War I profoundly impacted by what he's seen and experienced. His neighbors are scared of him at first, but they get used to his stra...
Ajax comes and goes pretty quickly, but he's the one man to whom Sula develops a true attachment. We first encounter him when Sula and Nel are young girls and he is twenty-one. He seems kind of cre...
Chicken Little's death is far more significant to the story than his life is. We really know nothing about him except that he's a typical five-year-old. But his death leaves a lasting impact on Sul...
Eva is also one of the few characters to survive at the end of the novel. The matriarch of the Peace family, Eva is tough and strong-willed, and some of her decisions may be hard to understand. Aft...
Hannah makes an early departure from the novel, but her influence on Sula remains constant and profound. By sleeping with her friends' husbands, Hannah teaches Sula to regard sex as "pleasant and f...
Nel's mother Helene assumes an early importance in the novel. Helene is a prostitute's daughter, and she spends her life trying to erase that part of her history. She maintains the utmost propriety...
Jude seems like a stand-up guy when he marries Nel. He wants more than anything to work on the new bridge so that he can be part of something lasting. For a long time, he is a responsible husband w...
Eva's son Plum is the love of her life. As the only male child of a woman who loves men, he enjoys a certain indulgence from Eva that we don't see with her other kids. But war destroys him. He is b...
Tar Baby and the Deweys
The Deweys are three neighborhood boys who live with Eva. Although they look very different from each other when they first arrive, everyone starts to treat them like a single entity, and soon no o...
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