Birthmark as a Symbol of Identity: The Dialectic of Individuality and Community in Toni Morrison's Sula


  • Dr.T. Sandhyarani Associate Professor, Dept. of English, DJR College of Engineering & Technology, Gudavalli, Vijayawada, AP. India


In this paper I have taken Morrison’s second novel Sula, to discuss the role of community in framing one’s identity. Morrison is a great writer to present her themes by using different techniques in her novels. All of these project the identity crisis of black women. Morrison uses different symbols in her novels to emphasize the theme of identity. I have taken one of such symbols to discuss the society’s role in framing one’s identity. I have taken Sula’s birthmark, to present the perception of community towards this. As Sula is an independent girl, Black Community starts viewing her differently by giving different meanings to her birthmark. Sula’s free nature in not accepted and is considered an outsider by the society. The step by step inclination of Sula’s identity by society’s misunderstanding is discussed in this paper.


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