It’s almost like learning a foreign language: at times difficult, yet once understood, revelations and insight are new awakenings to a world around us which we previously were asleep in.Denial of it’s very existence is detrimental to the overall history and comprehension of America, as Toni Morrison confirms that “a criticism that needs to insist that literature is not only “universal” but also “race-free” risks lobotomizing that literature, and diminishes both the art and the artist” (“Playing” 12).
If I can do that to myself, what you suppose I'll do to you? Nel is impressed, the boys back off, and a feminine-strengthening act by Sula helps build an even stronger friendship between Sula and Nel. Her fiction is noted for its poetic language, lush detail, emotional intensity, and sensitive observation of American life as viewed from a variety of African-American perspectives. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.When Sula returned to Medallion, and jump-started her friendship with Nel, the two are put to the ultimate female test.Nel stumbles upon an incident with her husband and Sula "down on all fours naked, not touching except their lips right down there on the floor" (Sula, 105).The complexity lies within the foundational structures of race, class, and sex that have existed for generations in our country and which forms a unique intersectionality.It’s also confusing at times because interpretation from an African American standpoint can be new and uncomfortable to many people who have not experienced diversity in their reading material.The inclusion and/or the absence of African American references in texts are both equally as meaningful and the acknowledgement that this critical theory holds immense power for our everyday comprehension is the first step to unearthing this dynamic outlook.What can be accomplished by understanding African American critical theory?Nel narrates to her husband Jude, saying that she expected Sula to "..one of those lovely college words like aesthetic or rapport, which I never understood but which I loved because they sounded so comfortable and firm" (Sula, 105).As Sula sat naked on the bed, "not even bothering to put on her clothes" because in reality she didn't need to; "she didn't look naked to me, only you did." This embarrassing scene would keep the two women from being as close as they once were, and Morrison "deconstructs the affair in light of Sula and Nel's friendship." Clearly, Sula marches to an "alternative morality," as Fulton puts it; Sula has "no affection for money, property, or things, no greed, no desire to command attention or compliments - no ego" (Sula 119).