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  • Date Submitted: 03/27/2010 12:06 PM
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Effects of Single Parenting in Toni Morrison’s Sula

A strong father figure is a vital necessity for children in African- American communities. As the saying goes, the man is the head of the household. Therefore, he is supposed to teach, provide, and strengthen the family. However, nowadays, it is common to hear about African-American fathers abandoning their parental responsibilities. Without a father figure, the mother and child (ren) are victimized. The lack of a father-daughter relationship can have drastic consequences. The girl can grow up with low self-esteem and a disregard for authority. Unfortunately, girls without parental guidance end up becoming sexually active at a younger age compared to girls that have involved fathers in their lives (Anderson 1). For some fathers, it is a matter of being overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing for a family. If a man feels he cannot provide for his family then he feels worthless. For others it is just a matter of selfishness and immaturity because a family means responsibility and he is not ready for that step. Often, the children are impacted emotionally by the father’s abrupt departure.   As a result, the mother must fulfill her role as a mother and a father. In Toni Morrison’s Sula, the book depicts a character name Eva, who leaves her life in Virginia to marry a man name Boy Boy and move to Medallion, Ohio. Shortly after the birth of

her three children, Boy Boy leaves Eva for another woman.   Ultimately, she is left alone to tend to Plum, Hannah, and Pearl.   Boy Boy’s decision to leave causes Eva to become a single mother, Hannah to seek only transient love when her husband passes, and Sula to have a distorted view of relationships with men.

After Boy Boy’s departure, Eva becomes single mother with little food, no money and a shack. While battling the cold winter weather Eva’s baby boy Plum becomes very ill due to constipation. She was left no choice but to use to the last piece of food to try...


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