“How does the politics of naming relate to any themes discussed in the novel?”
The name Sula Peace is a contradiction to everything this character embodies. Chaos and calamity are apparent in her life rather than peace. It seems that wherever Sula goes, she turns heads, stirs up the community and leaves a sense of chaos lingering in the air. The play on words in Sula’s the last name “Peace” is extremely ironic since there is nothing calm or peaceful in her life. Her home life can be seen as wild, reckless and lacking in order. “Sula’s wooly house, where a pot of something was always cooking…Hannah never scolded or gave directions; where all sorts of people dropped in; where newspapers were stacked in the hallway, and dirty dishes
left for hours…”( 29). Even the structure of the home itself is complete chaos. It is constantly changing and being built and rebuilt by Eva Peace. The household in which the Peace women
Starting at a young age, Sula was introduced to danger, chaos and spontaneity. Her mother Hannah had no regard for others and lived by her own rules. She passes this mindset to Sula who adopts this attitude and lifestyle. Hannah sleeps around with her friend’s husbands and views men as disposable commodities. She teaches Sula to view sex as “pleasant and frequent, but otherwise unremarkable” (44) and Sula is influenced by her mother’s promiscuous lifestyle. As she grows into womanhood, Sula lives for male attention, often causing a commotion throughout the entire community. She searches for the looks of desire she gets from men when walking down the street and craves the presence of a male figure in her life. Wherever Sula Peace went, peace could not be found. Sula has a distinct effect on the Bottom, disrupting the peace and supposedly causing things to happen. Teapot falls down the stairs and Mr. Finley chokes and dies while sucking on chicken bones at the sight of Sula. The women of the Bottom community...