Essay about Friendship in Sula

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Pages: 5

Friendship in Sula

In Sula, Toni Morrison questions what true friendship is by putting Nel Wright and Sula Peace’s friendship to the test. Morrison tests the phrase “opposites attract” in this novel. Nel and Sula have two different personalities yet they are able to compliment each other. They are opposites in the way that they relate to other people, and to the world around them. Nel is rational and balanced; she gets married and gives in to conformity and the town’s expectations. Sula is an irrational and transient character. She follows her immediate passions, completely care free of the feelings other people might have about her. To Nel, Sula’s return to Medallion is like “getting the use of an eye back, having a cataract
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Without Sula around Nel becomes totally dependent on her new husband Jude. Without Sula, Nel needs to adhere to other people because she does not have desires and motives of her own. Morrison puts Nel’s and Sula’s friendship to the test when Sula has sex with Nel’s husband Jude. Sula has sex with Jude and fails to understand the consequences that it may have on their friendship. Sula is amoral in that she does not think that she is doing anything wrong to hurt Nel. She actually thinks that she is doing Nel a favor by opening her eyes and showing her what her husband is capable of doing. She proves to be careless towards others when she says, “I didn’t kill him, I just fucked him. If we were such good friends, how come you couldn’t get over it (Morrison 145)? Even after seeing how she has hurt her friend Nel she has no remorse for her actions. Morrison shows what true friendship is when Nel goes to see about Sula after she becomes ill, even though Sula has betrayed their friendship. Even on her deathbed Sula is insensitive towards Nel’s feelings. In the end, Nel realizes that she has not been mourning the loss of her husband, but of Sula. “And the loss pressed down on her chest and came up into her throat. ‘We were girls together,’ she said as though explaining something. ‘O Lord, Sula,’ she cried, ‘girl, girl, girlgirlgirl” (Morrison 174). Her belated cry at the end of this