Sula vs the Things They Carried: Post War Effects

1594 Words7 Pages
Sula vs. The Things They Carried: Post War Effects When one thinks of war casualties, typically a strong young man with a life cut short comes to mind. Many people are injured in war, but sometimes the emotional toll is just as impactful on a solider. There are many good people who survive, however, because of what they have witnessed, they will never be the same again. Tim O'Brien writes how throughout the war, "They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice barely restrained, the instinct to run or freeze or hide" (O'Brien, 21). Having to return to normal society after experiencing the hideous faces of war was not an easy task. For many veterans it proved to be more than they could handle. Both Toni Morrison and Tim O'Brien write about how difficult it is for soldiers to re-enter society after war. In Toni Morrison's Sula, she writes about the character Shadrack. Shadrack went to war in December of 1917, "a young man of hardly twenty, his head full of nothing and his mouth recalling the taste of lipstick" (Morrison, 7). While Shadrack was in the war, "he expected to be terrified or exhilarated - to feel something very strong. In fact, he felt only the bite of a nail in his boot" (Morrison, 7-8). Eventually Shadrack's experience in war led him to an unknown injury, sending him home to a hospital, "When Shadrack opened his eyes he was propped up in a small bed. Before him on a tray was a large tin plate divided into three triangles. In one triangle was rice, in another meat, and in the third stewed tomatoes…all their repugnance was contained in the neat balance of triangles—a balance that soothed him, transferred some of its equilibrium to him" (Morrison, 8). Because of his violent tendencies, Shadrack was released from the hospital long before he should have been. Once he

More about Sula vs the Things They Carried: Post War Effects

Open Document