What is the biblical reference to Shadrack? Why did Morrison choose this name for him?
Explore the relationship between Nel, her mother Helene, her grandmother Rochelle, and her great-grandmother Cecile. Why are the women separated? What separates them?
Why is the incident on the train between Helene and the conductor significant? What happens as the train travels further south?
How does Morrison use the notion of defilement in "1920"? Who is defiled? Why?
Explore the symbolic resonances of the Peace family. Is there peace in the Peace family? How are the names symbolic? How is Sula's name different?
Why does Eva leave her children? Why does she return with only one leg?
Why does Eva take Plum to the outhouse? What does she realize in asking herself this question?
Who are the "deweys" and what do they represent?
Why does Eva set Plum on fire? How does the narrative describe this scene? Why is the description important?
How are Nel and Sula becoming aware of their sexuality in this chapter? How do we sense this awareness? Do we also sense a threat of violence?
What does Hannah say to upset Sula?
Why do Nel and Sula watch Chicken Little drown? Explore the significance of his name and his death, especially in relation to the name of the neighborhood "Bottom".
Why does Sula go inside Shadrack's shack?