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by Toni Morrison

Sula Pride Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Year.Paragraph)

Quote #1

She lost only one battle – the pronunciation of her name. The people in the Bottom refused to call her Helene. They called her Helen Wright and left it at that. (1919.6)

This is a subtle way for the people in the Bottom to nip at Helene's pride. She is proud of how far she's come, but this pride comes across as haughty and demeaning. Calling her "Helen" rather than "Helene" is a way of taking her down a peg.

Quote #2

Underneath all of that shine she saw defeat in the stalk of his neck and the curious tight way he held his shoulders. (1921.18)

BoyBoy suffers from false pride when he visits Eva. On the surface, he looks and acts like he's a successful, important man, but the way he carries himself when he thinks no one is looking suggests that it's probably an act.

Quote #3

Four white boys in their early teens, sons of some newly arrived Irish people, occasionally entertained themselves in the afternoon by harassing black schoolchildren. (1922.11)

We see here how pride can lead to misdirected and dangerous behavior. The Irish boys are scorned by the upper-class whites who live in Medallion. In reaction, they turn their own scorn on the black children in the Bottom.

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