How we cite our quotes:
But thinking that Sula had an odd way of looking at things and that her wide smile took some of the sting away from that rattlesnake over her eye. (1937.177)
Jude articulates the idea that we can choose how we see things, and this can impact the way others see us. To some extent, we are in control of the way we perceive other people.
At twenty-nine she knew it would be no other way for her, but she had not counted on the footsteps on the porch, and the beautiful black face that stared at her through the blue-glass window. Ajax. (1939.46)
Sometimes choices come in the form of other people. Just when Sula thinks she has no choices left, Ajax presents her with a different option.
"[ . . .] Every man I ever knew left his children." "Some were taken." "Wrong Nellie. The word is 'left.'" (1940.44-10.46)
Did Jude choose to leave his family, or was the choice made for him? That is the crux of this conversation, and it shows some pretty stark differences between Nel and Sula. Nel faults Sula for "taking" her husband, but Sula places the burden of choice on Jude.