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It seeks to depict traditional conventions prevailing within the society during that time. It highlights on the role of women in the society, and focuses on society’s perception on people with unconventional behavioral conduct like Sula (Morrison 12). With respect to geographical setting, this novel revolves around the black neighborhood of Ohio, which was infamous for numerous incidences of direct racial segregation. Slavery was still rampant and African Americans are frustrated by lack of political, economic and social freedom in their communities. “Sula” revolves around the time when American minority groups were undergoing numerous challenges in their lives. African American soldiers were not appreciated by the white majority even after their role of assisting American government in the war. In retaliation, blacks were indifferent to whites and any form of social interaction between black and white people was detested by both races. Apart from deeply rooted racial discrimination, blacks were struggling to preserve moral values in their societies. Despite widespread poverty and hopelessness, black communities organized themselves in typical family units with a man and a woman playing the role of husband and wife respectively. Children were raised in strict family systems where they were taught moral guidelines (Morrison 16). However, other members of the society, including Sula’s grandmother, were already social outcasts. In succeeding sections, we will appraise the role of cultural influence in shaping Sula’s destiny. In order to objectively develop the themes of good versus evil, the writer introduces two young girls, Nel and Sula, who were raised within the same community but in different households. Rebellion to social conventions starts from Nel’s grandmother who was a prostitute. Based on prevailing social conventions, Nel’s mother chooses to get married and live a conventional and respectable life, after which she influenced her daughter to follow the same path. On meeting her promiscuous grandmother, Nel admired the old woman’s exotic behavioral conduct (Morrison 34). Nel started yearning for independence and personal freedom. On the other hand, Sula was a girl raised within a wild family. Consequently, Sula grew up to become socially unpredictable and usually exhibited substantial degree of violence. On the other hand, Nel appeared quiet and reverent. However, their friendship took a u-turn after the unfortunate incident when Sula’s carelessness led to death of a neighbor’s boy child. After that unfortunate incident, the two young ladies took different paths, with Nel being a stereotypical girl who conforms to social norms while Sula explores unchartered depths of social freedom. At the age of 13, Sula started demonstrating a deep desire for fierce independence. Her actions shows substantial disregard to cultural norms. When Sula moved away from Bottom, she engaged in numerous love affairs with white men. Whites were known to show not even the slightest consideration to predicaments faced by the black population (Lippmann 27). As a result, blacks decided to distance themselves from any association with the oppressors. Sula knew about this convention but chose to sleep around with whites. Upon realization, the society labeled her action as devilish.

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