Since they are taught at such a young age, they do not have the critical thinking skills and they automatically believe the ideas that their parents taught them. For example, in Sula, Nel is under the control of her mother. After she sees her mother places herself in an inferior position and smiles to the men on the train, she realizes that she does not want to be like her mother. Nel says, “I’m me. I’m not their daughter. I’m not Nel. I’m me. Me” (Morrison 28). She wants to be wonderful, unique and free. However, since she is too young, she cannot persist her dream of freedom under the control of her mother and she utterly gives up. Morrison writes, “Under Helene’s hand the girl became obedient and polite. Any enthusiasms that little Nel showed were calmed by the mother until she drove her daughter’s imagination underground” (Morrison 18). She finally becomes one of the “normal” women who does follow all the social conventions and loses her sense of self. She cares about how other people and the society think instead of how she feels. She marries a man and their marriage is not based on love, but instead, it is aimed to satisfy the normative expectation of their community. Therefore, one of the reasons why Nel loves Sula is because Sula succeeds in being unique, free and ignores all the social conventions that she does not like agree
Despite being presented as opposites of good and evil, Nel and Sula are actually quite similar, as both Nel and Sula posses the traits that defined the other, effectively blurring the lines between good and evil. As young girls, Nel pushed herself to become friends with Sula in the first place as “Nel, who regarded the oppressive neatness of her home with dread, felt comfortable in t with Sula, who loved it and would sit on the red-velvet sofa for ten to twenty minutes at a time… As for Nel, she preferred Sula’s wooly house”(29). As a child, Nel yearned to be free and independent, and to be her own individual self separate from who her mother expects her to be. Sula however already lives this life of living in a non-traditional home and
Toni Morrison’s Sula revolves around the relationship of her two main characters, Sula and Nel. The childhood friends grow apart with age. Although it is indicated that their friendship is the most important relationship they participate in, they eventually betray each other and lead dishonest lives. Throughout the novel, we see their constantly deteriorating relationship as a result of absence of a family life. Sula is a novel about the influence family may have on the make up of someone’s personality. In particular, the novel examines the effect parents can have on their children and the conscious effort the main characters make to be unlike their mothers.
I believe that Nel’s wedding was a great scene that showcased the fundamental differences between Nel and Sula. At a young age, Nel vowed to be herself when she saw the way her submissive, traditional mother was viewed. She told herself that she would never get to that level. She ended up sticking to what she knows when she married a man named Jude who only wanted to be in a relationship so he could be viewed as “the man “. Nel ended up being just like her mother because she gave into the societal norms of marriage and accepted the submissive role. This behavior is a stark contrast to Sula who wanted no part of what society expects. “It would be ten years before they saw each other again, and their meeting would be thick with birds. “(85)I think this shows the disconnect that developed between the two girls. I believe that the very free- spirited Sula was disappointed in Nel for accepting this passive role and Sula decided to leave town because of it. Sula lives a more independent lifestyle which she believes is the correct way to live.
Being oppressed by her mother, Nel has an attraction to Sula's carefree environment which, unlike her own, lacks any oppression. Likewise, Sula has an attraction to Nel's peaceful and orderly environment. They both desire something that the other does not have, and that's where such a strong attraction comes from. Together, they are perfect- Nel finds in Sula the youthfulness and the fun she's missing, and Sula finds order and stability in Nel.
Being oppressed by her mother, Nel has an attraction to Sula’s carefree environment, which, unlike her own lacks any oppression. Likewise, Sula has an attraction to Nel’s peaceful and orderly environment. They both desire something that the other has, and that’s where such a strong attraction comes from. Together, they are perfect. Nel finds in Sula the youthfulness and the fun she’s missing, and Sula finds order and stability in Nel.
The novel Sula by the Author Toni Morrison, depicts the story of a character name Sula who embarks in an adventure in her town. She faces many endeavors throughout the story but it’s her struggles which define the way she views life. Nether the less an interesting character in the novel, is her close friend “Nel.” Sula and Nel are viewed like one mind, because of that it’s sometimes difficult for them to separate each other thoughts. The town often tells them they are the same person because of that reason Nel’s uniqueness is overshadowed and she struggles to figure out her own identity. With this in mind she meets a guy, Jude, who in the process allows her to find an identity. The different aspects of identity that Jude expresses to Nel allow her to be viewed as a singular person compared to the town which viewed her like one mind with Sula.
Sula dislikes her disheveled house, and wishes that she could live in a household as clean as that of Nel. Sula?s positive view of Nel?s home challenges Nel to see it in a new light, teaching her to appreciate. This concept stays current throughout the early years of their relationship, each opening the other?s eyes to new idea and ways of living and as they do their friendship grows stronger. The two become practically inseparable, living completely symbiotically and depending on each other for everything. However, this relationship is destined to change.
Nel said, "You can’t do it all. You’re a woman and a colored woman at that. You can’t act like a man. You can’t be walking around all independent-like, doing whatever you like, taking what you want, leaving what you don’t." (142). This imitation of being a man is what Sula did. This is because she wanted to live her life free. Free from the norms of a patriarchal society who sees a woman primarily by the relationship women have with men. Sula’s story shows that when a woman doesn’t have a relationship with a man or doesn't uplift socially accepted responsibilities, she is seen as evil. In the end Sula died doing what she wanted, and staying true to her beliefs. Sulas life experiences shaped her into the women she was and she wasn't ashamed of it. All throughout the novel she did not let the words of others and their perceived societal norms to influence her into
Upon her return, Sula notices the affect societal ideals has had upon Nel, who is now a mother and homemaker, fitting the perfect description of a wife for her husband. Sula tells Nel, “You’ve changed too. I didn’t used to have to explain everything to you” (Sula 100). In this statement Sula points out how Nel’s new domestic lifestyle has altered her, removing her individuality and diminishing the unspoken understanding they used to have between each other when they were children. What ultimately solidifies Nel’s loss of individuality for about 25 years is the end of her friendship with Sula. When Nel walks into her bedroom to see that “they had been down on all fours naked, not touching except their lips right down there on the floor” (Sula 105), she feels betrayed by both Jude and Sula. She had trusted both and yet they had betrayed her. And so, both left, leaving Nel dependent to society’s grasp as a single mother. Thus, due to the untimely end of both her marriage and friendship, Nel lost the remnants of her individuality, trading it in for the security society could offer her and her
Sula, expands on this dynamic by moving friendship outside the confines of family during the initial phase between Nel and Sula. Nel’s mother is not taken by Sula or her mother. The narration follows this trend with, “her
Nel, on the other hand, grew up with a proper, strict mother. Her name was Helene, and she was a woman of strict order, who made the expectations for her daughter high and clear. Nel grew up under this parenting heavily influencing her everyday behaviors. Due to this difference in family life, they were attracted together as friends, fulfilling the statement, “Opposites attract”. There was also a personality difference between the two girls. Sula had always been the rougher, tougher one, as opposed to the quieter Nel. Nel, although quieter, as an adult was married and never cheated on her husband, Jude. Nel breaks the promise she made to herself to develop her own identity, by choosing to marry young just as her mother had. Her husbands idea of a happy life is him working an inferior man's job, however his marriage contradicts that. Nel fulfills Helene's expectations of marriage, letting go of her goal to be independent and live on her own terms. A bond that holds the two friends so closely together is the good and bad between the two, in the particular case of the death of Chicken Little. Nel is just as guilty for not doing anything about the death as Sula is for committing the crime, however this strays from her perfect reputation she hold in the Bottom.
Sula has many themes. One of them is about friendship and the difficulty of transitioning from a childhood friendship to an adulthood friendship. During Nel and Sula’s lives, it was always them against the world. However, when they got older and experienced different things, they went in different directions. Sula became that woman everyone hated and looked down upon, and Nel became the average housewife. They had disagreements and fall outs throughout their years, but at the end when Nel was the only person who came to see Sula on her last day. Also Nel was the only person Sula thought about during her death. Nel was also hit with this notion when she found herself alone and thinking about her life after Sula’s funeral. She begin to weep
However, Nel does fall into such relationship which ultimately leads to her alienation as a result of her submission. Sula on the other hand, refuses to marry as she believes marriage is nothing but the extermination of one’s identity. After returning to Medalliion, Eva-her grandmother, asks her about her marriage, Sula replies, “I don’t want to make somebodyelse. I want to make myself.” She abjures marriage, children and all such attachments that pose limitation to the role of black women. She enters the church scantily dressed and moreover, she sends her grandmother to the old folks home thus subverting the doctrines of the role of daughters and wives. Notwithstanding her transgression, the community considers her as a pariah and outlaw. What is considered as a bold departure by black males Sula’s interracial sex though when it comes to white women, they would not give it a second thought. The whole people unite in regarding Sula as an evil as she transgresses their impositions, she negates all the limitations and her only concern is her belief in her own ‘Self’. She doesn’t need anybody’s shoulder for herself and acts according to her own will. She is an embodiment of the resilience and willpower among women which paves the way for their survival amidst the patriarchal norms. Sula’s faith in herself is delineated in the novel through her death scene. Her conversation with Nel prior to
Sula is a story that tackles the ideas of "good" and "evil", and how nothing is easily determined as one or the other. Focusing on the complexities of life, Sula addresses many well-known conflicts