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Shadrack in Toni Morrison’s novel Sula is a character who portrays how war trauma and mental illness isolate people from society and how society fails to care for the psychological victims of war

Shadrack in Toni Morrison’s novel Sula is a character who portrays how war trauma and mental illness isolate people from society and how society fails to care for the psychological victims of war

  Thesis Statement

Shadrack in Toni Morrison’s novel Sula is a character who portrays how war trauma and mental illness isolate people from society and how society fails to care for the psychological victims of war.

What Shadrack’s character teaches us about the effects of war and the ways mentally ill people can be ostracized by a community ?

Shadrack’s character brings out the emotional trauma of war and the social isolation that is experienced by individuals struggling with mental health issues. A World War I veteran, Shadrack returns home a very different man, struggling with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The symptoms of paranoia and hallucinations, which are the main representation of his trauma, exclude him from the society that was once familiar with him (Morrison). The novel shows how Shadrack’s mental illness transforms into a situation that is shunned and feared by the community. The residents of the Bottom view him as a pariah, symbolizing the broader societal tendency to marginalize those who do not conform to norms of behavior and mental health. His establishment of National Suicide Day is a sad representation of his effort to master death and disorder, something that is too abstract and horrifying for the community to comprehend. This ritual, though rather strange, points to his grief and the need for recognition from society that has abandoned him.

Morrison, Toni. Sula. Vintage Books, 1973.

 

 Cite sources 600-800 words

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