(1) Setting: 99% of the action takes place in the Bottom, which is actually up in the hills. I liked how they came up with the name of "The Bottom" because it's the bottom of Heaven. I don't think I can really relate to the town, basically because it was mainly an African-American populated, poorer income family neighborhood, and I've grown up in Ames and other places I've generally deemed as safe. The bottom to me reminded me of when I go on Appalachia Service Project and go work in the hills. That's how I pictured the scenery. Throughout the book, the narrator describes the Bottom, the town in the Bottom named Medallion and the area in general. It sounded wooded and not populous, as if on the verge of the civilized world. There are a lot of tiny descriptions of the area that the book takes place in. Some of the descriptions are less about the scenery around them, but how the people in the town interpret life.
"Still, it was lovely up in the Bottom. After the town grew and the farm land turned into a village and the village into a town and the streets of Medallion were hot and dusty with progress, those heavy trees that sheltered the shacks up in the Bottom were wonderful to see."
The first good description in the book is towards the beginning, when the Narrator describes the Bottom. When Nel and her mother are on the train to New Orleans, the description of the scenery was really pretty.
"For two days they rode; two days of watching sleet turn to rain, turn to purple sunsets, and one night knotted on the wooden seats (their heads on folded coats)..."
(2) Plot: The plot describes the growth of two young girls into middle-aged women, and of all the incidents that occur to distance them while drawing them closer together in the same sense. Also, things that happened early in their life, such as drowning Chicken Little, came back up in conversation later on. Sula and Nel accidentally drowned Chicken Little, Nel was the calm one and I ... Continues...