Lesson Plan Menu
Yhemes of Love and Death in Sula

The Theme of Love in Sula

I. Introduction

A. An attention grabber: a question, quote, surprising fact
B. General statements about the role and importance of love in life
C. General observations about the experience of love in Sula.
D. Thesis statement: In the novel Sula, authorToni Morrison proves that love is not easy.

II. Body

A. Love in the family

1. Eva raises Plum w/lots of love but ends up killing him
2. Hannah questions her mother’s love; Eva responds, "I stayed alive for you (Sula p. 118)
3. Sula overhears her mother say she "likes but does not love " her (Sula p.57)
4.Sula watches coldly as Hannah burns
5. The Dewey’s "loving no one and nothing but themselves" (Sula p. ) are their own parents.
6. Eva fails in her attempt to save Hannah and gets badly hurt
7. Sula puts Eva in asylum

B. Love between friends

1. Nel and Sula, like one person, know each other’s thoughts, "a compliment to one is a compliment to the other"(Sula p.83) but Sula betrays Nel.
2. Shadrack’s only friend in his mind is Sula who’s not a friend at all.

C. Romantic love

1. Boy Boy has left Eva after five years of womanizing, physical abuse and alcoholism
2. Rekus has died leaving Hannah alone with Sula
3. Nel and Jude marry, Nel needs someone to care for, Jude wants to be cared for but Sula ends their already unhappy marriage
4. Sula has tried to find friend/lover (Sula p.121) but gives up and becomes promiscuous and ends up alone
5. Sula falls for Ajax but he leaves

III. Conclusion

A. Restate the thesis
B. Summarize what you have proven: the dangers to love...
C. Personal comment, observation
D. Call to action.

The Theme of Death in Sula

I. Introduction

A. Thesis statement: Toni Morrison’s Sula expresses death as part of life.
b. General observations about life versus death, vitality and degrees of being alive
C. Are there many deaths in the novel?
D. What kinds of death are included –physical, spiritual, psychological?
E. A sentence indicating the organization to follow

II. Body

A. Killing

1. Shadrack’s sanity destroyed by war experience fighting for racist government
2. Plum

a. War-drugs-debilitation
b. Eva kills him w/fire

3. Hannah w/words kills Sula’s trust in people

B. Suicide
1. Eva loses leg; gets insurance money
2. Plum uses drugs
3. Tar Baby – alcohol
4. Sula loses friends through promiscuity
5. Sula kills Eva by having her locked up

C. Accident
1. Chicken Little drowns
2. Hannah in yard fire
3. People of Bottom in tunnel demonstration

III. Conclusion

A. Restate thesis
B. Summarize how you have proven the thesis
C. Use Toni Morrison quote: "I can only teach by taking away."


Overview & Essential Question
Activities and Assignments
Page 3 - 6
Page 7 - 16
Page 17 - 29
Page 30 - 48
Page 49 - 66
Page 67 - 78
Page 79 - 85
Page 89 - 111
Page 112 - 137
Page 138 - 149
Page 150 - 162
Page 163 - 174
The Theme of Love in Sula
The Theme of Death in Sula
Samples Of Student Work
Teacher Commentary

Urban Dreams
OUSD Curriculum Unit
Themes of Love & Death in Sula
Subject: English
Grade Level: 9th

Lesson Plan Author:
L. Delaney
School: Skyline High