Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade April 2001

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"Sexual Discovery: A Natural Thing"� The loss of innocence towards the subject of sex is a theme common to many walks of literature. The theme is often explained in terms of nature, or possibly through the use of natural objects and occurrences. Sula by Toni Morrison, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and Uncle Tom's Children by Richard Wright all seem to deal with women discovering the meaning of sex through a natural setting. The preadolescent as well as teen years are a vulnerable time in which many girls are becoming women. Discovering the meaning of sex and love is a very important part of the maturing process, especially for young women. In Sula and Their Eyes Were Watching God, young women observe qualities of nature that provide an extended metaphor for sexual discovery. In Uncle Tom's Children, a collection of short novellas, a woman's sexual encounter with a white man is paralleled with scenes from natural perspective.

In the novel Sula by Toni Morrison, two young girlfriends, Sula and Nel, venture down by the river on a hot day. As the girls lay in the grass, one begins to "worry long blades of grass with her fingers,"� and the other follows suit. The two girls begin to play, without speaking a word, and begin to slowly and inadvertently discover sexuality. Sula and Nel find two sticks and "pulled away the bark until it was stripped to a smooth, creamy innocence."� This innocence seems to symbolize them, as they are becoming Stephens 2 young women. Both girls use their sticks to "poke rhythmically and intensely into the earth,"� each making a separate hole in the ground. Each hole grew until the two separate ones formed into each other. When both holes in the earth had joined,