End of Sula notes

1937 –
  • Sula comes back – plague of robins
  • Sula puts Eva in a home
    • Eva seems to understand that Sula has no moral compass
    • Eva believes that Sula “watches”
      • Seeing vs. watching
        • Involvement
        • Sula betrays Nel
        • After the betrayal
          • It’s clear that Sula and Nel are opposites
          • Sula says hell is anything lasting forever
          • Nel says hell is change
          • Nel is left with the ball just out of sight
            • Soft, quiet, gray, dirty
            • Left with the terrible effort it took “not to look”
            • She thinks it’s her love for Jude


1939 –
  • Whole town turns against Sula
  • Start remembering unreal (devilish) things about her
  • p. 118 – paragraph analyzing Sula
    • hearing Hannah say she didn’t like her
      • taught her you can’t trust others
  • Death of Chicken Little
    • Taught her you can’t trust yourself
    • Sula does finally love or crave someone – Ajax
      • He doesn’t want commitment
      • She never did before

1940 -
  • Sula is dying, Nel comes to check on her
  • p. 146 – Sula tells Nel, maybe Sula was the good one
  • Sula dies: “Wait’ll I tell Nel.” Death was painless.



1941 –
  • Sula’s funeral – people see it as a good sign: things must be looking up!
  • With Sula’s meanness gone, people are back to being mean to each other.
  • Shadrack’s memory of Sula
    • He says “Always” to comfort her with permanence
    • He doesn’t remember Chicken Little
    • He’s not interested in National Suicide Day anymore
    • He starts parade anyway, without enthusiasm
      • People start following
        • Rare chance at sunshine, laughter, hope
        • Parade gets to the tunnel site
          • Was once seen as a chance at money – but never for them
          • Jump the fence – start to destroy it
          • Into the tunnel they start to destroy the whole thing
          • Ground thaws, tunnel collapses
          • People die
            • Deweys are never found!
  • Shadrack survives with his bell!

1965 –
  • Nel remembering how people used to be
  • The Bottom is no longer the black part of town
  • Nel visits Eva – still alive!
  • Eva talks about the death of Chicken Little
    • Tells Nel that Nel is the same as Sula
    • Nel says, “I didn’t watch. I just saw it.”
    • Nel remembers Sula’s death
      • So rejected by the community
        • White people care for her body
        • Ends with Nel realizing she’s lost Sula
          • Fuzzy blob was love for Sula

So – what’s going on?
  • What happens to someone with no rules?
    • What happens to their community?