by Toni Morrison
Current Events & Pop Culture
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Sample of Current Events & Pop Culture
Class isn't often the thing most talked about in Morrison's novels (there's always so much going on), but it's constantly there as a problem or an issue. The Center for Working Class Studies has an interesting reading on class for both Toni Morrison and for Sula – a neat resource for any discussion on the Great Depression in Morrison's life and in her novel.
"In a scene from the text, Sula and her mother have a disagreement regarding her lifestyle choices and attitude when she returns home to The Bottom after having been gone for many years. Her mother asks, "When you gone to get married? You need to have some babies. It'll settle you." Sula replies, "I don't want to make somebody else. I want to make myself." Sula's manner and tone of voice make her a much more forceful female than what we may have expected to see in society during the 1930's, the time during which the novel is set. It could be argued that her economic position within the working class served to free her from the stereotypical gender constraints and allowed her to be the type of person she really wanted to be – a dominant, independent, single woman."