Analysis of Sula by Toni Morrison
The novel Sula shows us Shadrack, a man whose life was forever changed because of one event caused by war, As he tried to regain control of his life only to be seen as a madman by his community that can't help understand the emotional and physical scars left by the war and can only see the man as an oddball.
In Sula, a young twenty-year-old, Shadrack is a World War I veteran from the Bottom, a mostly black community in Medallion, Ohio, who comes back from the war in France "blasted and permanently astonished by the events of 1917" (Sula, 7). " (Morrison, Toni. Sula. New York: New American Library, 1987. Print. Page 7 1919) unlucky for Shadrack. As said by Eileen Barrett, "in April 1917, more than a million Afro-American men like Shadrack responded to the Selective Service calls for volunteers [...] Shadrack might have assumed that valor in combat would be rewarded with opportunities at home" (1994, 2). That was just not the cause of coming back from war: the emotional and physical abuse was not an inch worth the reward, which Shadrack would soon know that rewarded for a black man in 1917. It was a country not willing to help a black man but will assist the white men. Even hospitalized black men were not treated relatively like hospitalized white men. This man was born that day on that hospital bed caused by horrific events he saw, all leading to a man who was Shadrack but twists physically and both mentally by war and the events he saw still hunting him.
As Shadrack sleeps, he has distressing flashbacks of his first battle in France in 1917. He sees graphic images after graphic images like the man whose head was blown off but kept running forward like a chicken with its head cut off. Shadrack finally awakes out fear, only getting a Sense of confrontation in the balanced triangles in the compartment food tray in his hospital bed. Not even his mind is his friend anymore. His memory of events is chaotic and full of holes caused by the trauma and events in his first battle, which has him incapable of developing coping strategies—leaving him in horror when he sees his own hands and fingers.in his quotes, "grow in higgledy-piggledy fashion like Jack's beanstalk" (Sula, 9) or can fuse into "a permanent entanglement with his shoelaces" (13). " (Morrison, Toni. Sula. New York: New American Library, 1987. Print. Page 7 1919). At the very least, his hands are still attached to his wrist, which gives Shadrack an ounce of relief after his panic and presumes recovery. Shadrack gets sent back home to his little home town at the Bottom where he isolates himself from the rest of the townspeople who know him as the local madman.
Has the local oddball Shadrack spends his days alone isolated from everyone by a cabin near a lake catching fish and selling them later getting drunk has one of his Coping mechanisms. He was hoping to stop seeing those horrific images. As well as fearing his death my happen one day unexpected in addition to seeking some order in his life, furthermore, as another coping mechanism for his fears, he decares National Suicide day on January 3rd, a self proclaim day where he marched around with a cowbell and a hangman's rope encouraging others to kill themself or hey each other it becomes such an annoying event that most people when preparing events and weddings ask to hold it another day anything but January 3rd, and so Shadrack kept celebrating Suicide day all but one day when the only person he actually had human conversation died Sula he was so broken about this he didn't celebrate Suicide day.
Shadrack, a man who was broken by war, ostracized by his hometown find some closure in his day-by-day life, not really caring about what others said about him being an oddball a crazy person, and the list goes on. But at least he found some order in life. Even when he made national suicide day a literal representation of his greatest fear in life, he still found order in that chaos, something he could never really feel again.