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When Good Characters Do Bad Things by Toni Morrison Essay

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Sula begins with serious questions within the mind of a reader. Many motifs in the book challenge social structure, and what it means to be human. Pride is apparent within the plot, because dramatic characters have pride, or belief in who they are. Characters are meant to be dramatized to provoke audience emotion. The characters may change throughout a play, but they will be prideful in their change. Toni Morrison puts the reader into the eyes of a character, allowing the reader to become the character. This then leads to the realization of the questions, Is it good or bad to be prideful, and does the characters pride create a bond between the audiences? Sula brings about many occurrences of pride either being good, or pride being bad. Two examples are Eva Peace's decision to kill Plum, and Sula's return to the bottom. Before the occurrences are determined as good or bad, there must first be a definition of what constitutes something as being good, or bad. Kraut and Richard wrote of the ethnic and moral virtue, "First, I believe that there are these two relationships: being good for someone and being bad for someone; furthermore, some things are related in these ways; and in favorable circumstances, we can know that these relationships hold" (pg.31). The philosophers stated there are things in the world that are considered good, or bad. Relationships will hold true due to the experiences of defining something as good or bad. Before an occurrence can be established as good, or bad, it must first be compared. "To call someone a good chess player is to compare her with other chess players; it is to say she is good-in-relation-to-them" (Kraut,Richard pg. 32). The comparison allows an occurrence to form relation to other occurrences. ...


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...erve others'. This connection allows the audience to feel empathy towards Sula. Sula's pride did lead to her downfall, just as it led to Eva's. So, is it true what Eva said to Sula? "Pride go'eth before a fall" (Sula 1937.44). Can pride be defined as an antagonist trait? With people or are there times pride is a protagonist trait? Toni Morrison has provoked these questions, they aren't easy to answer. Challenging questions create a bond between character and audience. It is the audience who interprets, decides, and continues to question who they are, and what the meaning of life really is.



Sources:
Kraut, Richard. Against Absolute Goodness. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.
Krakowiak, K. Maja. "When Good Characters Do Bad Things: Morrison, Toni. Sula. New York: Knopf;, 1974. Print. SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on Sula.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNote



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