Sula Essay

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In the following essay, McKee discusses how Morrison uses physical space to represent "the placement of experience" within a context.

In Sula, spacing—that is, closing down or opening up distances between things and persons— has extraordinary urgency. Houses and bodies are the sites of hyperactive mechanisms of containment and expulsion working to effect identity and distinction: of inside and outside, of self and other. Spacing, moreover, becomes crucial to issues of representation and meaning in the Bottom, the place in Medallion, Ohio, in which most of the action of the novel occurs. Houston A. Baker Jr. has called attention to the importance of place in Sula: "What Morrison ultimately seeks in her coding of Afro-American PLACE is a writing of intimate, systematizing, and ordering black village values," he suggests. But although the manipulation of persons and things in space can produce a symbolic order, Morrison seems more...

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This section contains 292 words
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Buy the Sula Study Guide
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