| Quote #1
They moved toward the ice-cream parlor like tightrope walkers, as thrilled by the possibility of a slip as by the maintenance of tension and balance. (1922.5)
The girls are twelve years old when they start walking past the men in front of Edna Finch's Mellow House, and they are experiencing the first stages of sexual awakening. They know they shouldn't like the stares and comments they get, and they're careful to maintain the appearance of propriety, but the mere prospect of sex excites them.
| Quote #2
With the exception of BoyBoy, those Peace women loved all men. It was manlove that Eva bequeathed to her daughters. (1921.35)
It's interesting that Eva's legacy to the women in her family is sex. She is completely betrayed by BoyBoy, and yet she is able to separate that from her love of all other men. When Sula fails to see the problem with sleeping with Jude, we can trace it right back to Eva.
| Quote #3
. . . Hannah seemed too unlike them, having no passion attached to her relationships and being wholly incapable of jealousy. (1922.41)
Hannah's attitude about sex is one we tend to associate with men. She doesn't confuse sex with love, and her casual and frequent sexual encounters with various men show us that she is indeed her mother's daughter.