“AIN’T THAT THE SAME?”: INTERSECTIONALITY AND THE SUPPLEMENTS IN TONI MORRISON’S SULA.
ResumoThis research aims at discussing what happens when the concept of the “supplement”, as discussed by Ki Namaste (1994), is interfered by intersectionality, as coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw (1991). More specifically, this research establishes a dialogue between the theory of intersectional feminism and deconstruction by analyzing an excerpt from Toni Morrison’s Sula. This research shows how an argument between the characters Nel and Sula’s relates to the theory of intersectionality by illustrating the ways in which both gender and race issues shape black women’s experience. Moreover, this investigation argues that Sula’s interpretation of her own experience of race and gender relates to the concept of the “supplement” because she exposes how traditional (white, male) notions of womanhood are flawed and allow the concept “men” to be supplemented. This analysis suggests that Sula exposes how the meanings imposed upon gender are blurred and socially constructed, contributing to their reinterpretation and questioning. From this perspective, this research argues that Sula (subconsciously) engages in deconstruction by breaking with structuralist binary thinking and showing how this line of thought is questionable. Furthermore, this work points out the belief that the meanings imposed upon what it means to be a woman and to what it means to be a man are “always already” racialized. Finally, this research argues that, for Sula, the intersection of multiple forms of oppression gives her the possibility of agency, which indicates that “intersectionality” and “agency” seems to be somewhat intertwined.