* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Sula

Sula

by Toni Morrison

Fire

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Fire appears throughout the novel and results in the deaths of Hannah and Plum. There are many possible meanings of fire, one of which is the idea that it is cleansing. When Eva douses Plum in kerosene (before the fire, but still applicable we think), he feels like he's undergoing "Some kind of baptism, some kind of blessing" (1921.49). And when Hannah dies in a fire, it's possible that this somehow cleanses Sula of a mother who is at best indifferent and at worst admits to not liking her daughter.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement