Relationship Between The Individual And The Community In Sula By Toni Morrison

1634 Words7 Pages
In the novel, “Sula”, author Toni Morrison addresses a series of obstacles faced by individuals who find themselves entrenched within marginalised societies. Morrison’s writing style differs from most other authors in the sense that it sheds light on imperative issues that would otherwise remain concealed; issues such as internecine racism, patriarchy and scapegoating within the African-American context. In “Sula”, Morrison introduces the question: What is the relationship between the individual and the community? She manages to do so by describing the conflict that exist between the Sula Peace and her local community. As a consequence of this conflict Sula, one of the main protagonists in the novel, becomes the scapegoat of her community. This essay will attempt to critically analyse the significance of scapegoating in “Sula” by looking at important aspects such as setting, time period, characters, and the relationship that exists between the individual and the community – from both literary and psychological perspectives. In order to comprehend exactly why and how the process of scapegoating occurs, a clear definition of the term and the relevance thereof must first be established. The Old Testament of the Bible – Leviticus 16 – first applies the term when the sins of the Israelites are cast upon a literal goat. The goat is afterwards driven into the desert to perish and, in so doing, absolve the Israelites of their sins. Following this event, the term has since
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