For four our of five quotations from Sula, write one paragraph (each) explaining the context and significance of the words in question. To whom do the words refer? How do those words relate to later events in the novel? Please submit the exam via Assignments on Canvas. Please upload the file in a standard format like docx.
“When Sula first visited the Wright house, Helene’s curdled scorn turned to butter. Her daughter’s friend seemed to have none of the mother’s slackness. Nel, who regarded the oppressive neatness of her home with dread, felt comfortable in it with Sula, who loved it and would sit on the red-velvet sofa for ten to twenty minutes at a time—still as dawn. As for Nel, she preferred Sula’s woolly house, where a pot of something was always cooking on the stove […]”
“Eva looked into Hannah’s eyes. “Is? My baby? Burning?” The two women did not speak, for the eyes of each were enough for the other. Then Hannah closed hers and ran toward the voices of neighbors calling for water.”
“Pig meat. The words were in all their minds. And one of them, one of the young ones, said it aloud. Softly but definitively and there was no mistaking the compliment. His name was Ajax, a twenty-one-year-old pool haunt of sinister beauty. Graceful and economical in every movement, he held a place of envy with men of all ages for his magnificently foul mouth. In fact he seldom cursed, and the epithets he chose were dull, even harmless. His reputation was derived from the way he handled the words. When he said “hell” he hit the h with his lungs and the impact was greater than the achievement of the most imaginative foul mouth in the town. He could say “shit” with a nastiness impossible to imitate. So, when he said “pig meat” as Nel and Sula passed, they guarded their eyes lest someone see their delight.”
“A bargeman, poling away from the shore, found Chicken late that afternoon stuck in some rocks and weeds, his knickers ballooning about his legs. He would have left him there but noticed that it was a child, not an old black man, as it first appeared, and he prodded the body loose, netted it and hauled it aboard. He shook his head in disgust at the kind of parents who would drown their own children. When, he wondered, will those people ever be anything but animals, fit for nothing but substitutes for mules, only mules didn’t kill each other the way niggers did. He dumped Chicken Little into a burlap sack and tossed him next to some egg crates and boxes of wool cloth. Later, sitting down to smoke on an empty lard tin, still bemused by God’s curse and the terrible burden his own kind had of elevating Ham’s sons, he suddenly became alarmed by the thought that the corpse in this heat would have a terrible odor, which might get into the fabric of his woolen cloth. He dragged the sack away and hooked it over the side, so that the Chicken’s body was half in and[…]”
“The second strange thing was Hannah’s coming into her mother’s room with an empty bowl and a peck of Kentucky Wonders and saying, “Mamma, did you ever love us?”
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