Theme Of Scapegoat In Sula

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In this essay there will be a critical analysis on the significance of scapegoating in Sula by Toni Morrison. Firstly explaining scapegoating, secondly showing the significance of scapegoating in Sula and finally a conclusion. A scapegoat is someone who is blamed for the wrongdoing, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency. Scapegoating is the bible in Leviticus where goat is cast into the desert with the sins of the community upon it. Scapegoating is one of the main themes of Sula. A community that feels beleaguered patrols its borders and reserves its cruelest punishment for “traitors”. It over-emphasizes centripetal belonging at the expense of centrifugal curiosity. “They were the ones who said she was guilty of the unforgivable thing – the thing for which there was no understanding, no excuse, no compassion.…show more content…
For example when a young boy (“Teapot”) comes to her house and falls down the steps, the mother of the child blamed Sula for the boy’s injuries and then starting taking care of the child for the first time. Here once again we are shown how Sula is made into the scapegoat. Later after Sula’s death the women no longer cherish and want to take care of their children so they abandon them once again. (Morrison, page. 113-115, 117) In the case of Sula, this ironically replicates the sexual shaming of African American women in slavery. Because in slavery African American woman did not have rights and white men would take advantage of these females and copulate with them, more often than not against their will. When Sula sleeps with the white men she shows she has no respect for her heritage and history and thus she becomes a traitor to her people in the “bottom”. While the community hangs on to its past and is ashamed and disgusted by Sula for sleeping with the white
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