During the time frame of the Sula book, the world was facing the world war 1. However, this war had an effect on the soldiers involved. When they witnessed acts of torture and killing, they faced significant mental health consequences including the Posttraumatic stress disorder (Pols and Oak, 2132). This was caused by witnessing death, experiencing continuous threats to their lives, and participating in various hostilities and killings. Even the best of the soldiers could not prevent the effects brought about by the massive killings. In the 20th century, various psychiatrists came out to offer their assistance to the military to reduce the effects of these traumatic experiences that could affect the warfare of the soldiers.
Though they were getting help, the soldiers did not like the involvement of psychiatry in their affairs. For instance, most of the soldiers seeking psychiatric help have often been labeled as cowards. Moreover, some soldiers reckoned that the availability of the psychiatrists in the area encouraged the presence of psychiatric symptoms. Later, the psychiatrists came to be accepted when they contributed to the primary goal of the soldiers, which is to preserve the required strength in fighting.
The world war one had an influence in the writing of the book sula. The bottom is a black neighborhood located in Ohio. When a certain good farmer who was white promised to free his slave and allocate him some land in Bottom location. When he finished, the slave went and asked the farmer to keep his promise. Giving the slave the freedom he had promised was easy, however, he had a problem with allocating land. The farmer told that slave that he would give him a piece of valley land instead. Another resident of bottom land, shadrack, fought in the world war one and returns a shattered man.
He is unable to accept any complexities present in the world. He lives in the town’s outskirts attempting to create order in his life. The horrors of world war one had a negative impact on his mental state. Thus, he came up with some methods of compartmentalizing his fear of death by inventing certain names such as the national suicide day. At first the town is hesitant to accept him but later does. In addition, sula suffers from mental stress after an accident that happened with the Chicken Little. After the accident, sula follows a divergent path and leads a life where she disregarded any form of social conventions. After Nel’s wedding, sula leaves bottom for a period of town years where she is rumored to have had numerous affairs with a white man.
The book was influenced by world war one. Some of the antagonists in the novel are trying to find peace and meaning in their lives. Just like the way some soldiers after the world war were trying to seek justification in their lives after what they had done. The massive killings and torture that the soldiers inflicted and saw had a negative impact on their mental health. In the same way, sula, after accidentally killing Chicken Little completely changed and started becoming defiant with little consideration for the social norms present. Thus, it is evident that she suffered from some form of mental problem say depression. Shadrack, on the other hand, had a firsthand experience with fighting in the world war one (Morrison, 245).
Morrison, Toni. Sula. New York: Vintage International, 2004.
Pols, Hans and Stephanie Oak. “War and Military Mental Health.” Am J Public Health (2007): 2132-2142. Retrieved from: HYPERLINK “http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2089086/” t “_blank” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2089086/