Sula is a novel that tells the story of complex situations of different, yet quite similar,women who represent the society of African American females in the middle twentiethcentury. It allows the reader to see how the people in the situation of these charactersreact to obstacles and events, showing a vision of American womanhood. Sula tells thehistory of what women faced in their marriages, for instance, Sula’s grandmother called Eva got married to Boy Boy and had three children, one of which gave birth to Sula.
Afterfive years of sad and disgruntled marriage, BoyBoy took off, leaving Eva with justadollar and sixty-five cents, five eggs, three beets and no idea of how to feel(SULA/32). Focusing on this same character(Eva), we see that she went through a lot trying to raiseher kids, which was really hard, she lost one of her leg for money(SULA/31). All of what I mentioned earlier in this passage is similar to what African American women wentthrough after the world war two. generally, during that time, African Americans facedsegregation, segregation wasn’t the only issue of women but also sexism.
Now imaginehow poor a woman is going to be without her husband and at the same time she has totake full responsibilities of the child care instead of taking part in it. All of these are someof the history of America- feminism of African American women. Looking at another character- Shadrack. In 1919, Shadrack returned to the Bottom “blasted and permanently astonished by the events of 1917” (1919). In other words, hesuffers from shell shock, or what we would now call post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) because of the disturbing things he saw in combat. Shadracks situationexposes and tells us the horror of the world war.
For example, Shadrack was a veteranof World War I, so in 1917, he was in the battle with his fellow comrades in thetreacherous grounds of France (Sula 7). The battle was just detrimental in all sorts ofways because at any time anyone, including Shadrack, could die from a bomb orgrenade. For an instance, in one of the battles, fought, which would be the last oneShadrack fought in the war while running through the fields in pain because of a nailpierced the ball of his foot, he witnessed the head of one his comrades get blown offfrom the rest his body.
This traumatic event forever changed the way Shadrack saw Things. This is history right here, Shadrack was just an example. There were a lot more people in the war with Shadrack that experienced way worse thing that Shadrack Experienced.