The Influence of an Outsider in Society in Sula and Mama Day
In every society, there are certain rules about how one should act, think, and say in any given situation that are perpetuated and must be upheld. If one strays from those rules, those ways of being, they are considered outsiders. The idea that outsiders do not follow the conventional rules of social behavior that are set in place by a society are prominent in Toni Morrison’s Sula and Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day. The authors examine this theme to question the validity of societal norms and the unfortunate consequences, such as the hatred and isolation for ignoring those norms. Unlike Naylor, Morrison delves deeper into the outsider theme and looks at the effects of an entire group being unable to relate to another. This group versus group dynamic is very noticeable in (ethnocentric) societies. that value one race over all others. Naylor predominantly examines the effects of one person against an entire group.
Sometimes, when an individual strays from the set norms, people in the society forget their own doubts about those norms and look down on other people to shift their own guilt. As a result, anyone who is looked down upon is said people are now seen as an outsider in a society. Morrison calls attention to the hypocrisy that is seen in a community when a community it finds an outsider. In Sula, Morrison describes how the norms of the town of Bottom, such as National Suicide Day, the sexual promiscuity of women,