As I was reading Emma and listening to some Kurt Vile, I realized the parallels between Sula’s death, and the song “Jesus Fever.” The light and happy verbs used to describe her pain relate to the upbeat guitar and keyboard. Restating “I’m already gone” in the refrain correlates to her calm and observant attitude towards her own death. The reference of the Black bowl is similar to the Bottom, as a collection of a black community. Describing the “shaking” “breaking” and “belly crawls” reminds me of when the liquid jell sinks into her body transporting her to her eternal stillness. The term “Jesus Fever” corresponds to the topsy turvy views of the bottom.
— Stephanie Thatcher