She was pariah, then, and knew it. Knew that they despised her and believed that they framed their hatred as disgust for the easy way she lay with men. -Sula pg. 122
Throughout Sula we have found many connections to the previous novels read in our class. When Sula refers to herself as a “pariah” a parallel to The Scarlet Letter and Hester forms. Both characters were seen as immoral women who rebelled against the norms of the society “for the easy way [they] lay with men.” The town punishes Hester for sleeping with a man to whom she was not betrothed while the people of Medallion criticize Sula for sleeping around with white men. Both acts are defiantly against the community norms and create an image as a social pariah for each woman.
A black so definite, so unequivocal, it astonished him. He had been harboring a skittish apprehension that he was not real - that he didn’t exist at all. But when the blackness greeted him with its indisputable presence, he wanted nothing more.
This quote really shows Shadrack finding his identity. After he was in the war, Shadrack lost himself in the horrors that he witnessed. Seeing his reflection for the first time in what seems to have been a long time gave him strength that he didn’t know he had. It is especially clear that he had lost his identity when he states that “he didn’t exist at all.” He hadn’t seen himself in so long that it seemed as though he wasn’t even really there. Identity is something we have talked about not just this year, but for many years. We have seen a lot of character finding themselves, such as Emma.