Toni Morrison's Sula Essay example

1465 Words 6 Pages
Sula Toni Morrison's Sula is a novel that has a theme about the nature of evil. The story follows the lives of two black female friends who present differing views on evil. On one hand, we have society's conventional view of evil represented by the character of Nel and also seen in the Bottom's disapproval of Sula. The other view of evil is seen through the character of Sula and through her actions, which conflict with traditional society. The friendship of Sula and Nel is how the author conveys her message about evil in the relationship. In the relationship the two different conceptions of evil mix and create an essentially neutral mixture. By looking at Nel's and Sula's friendship and the two different views of evil that they …show more content…
Absorbed in this conception of evil her whole life, it is Nel who becomes the embodiment of the town's moral code when she gets married and is "one of them" (120), meaning a member of mainstream society. Instantly, her views become the same with those of the town and she "belonged to the town and all of its ways" (120). She is especially offended by Sula's behavior, because Sula sleeps with her husband. While Nel has used the town's moral code, Sula is in open defiance of it, and Sula is caught off guard by Nel's "possessiveness" (119), not really knowing that "marriage...had changed all that" (119), referring to their earlier tendency to "share the affection of other people" (119). Nel's outrage at Sula's actions is similar to the town's anger at Sula and we see the personal hurt that Sula's inconsiderate actions have caused. While society's view of evil is really based on the disapproval of anything that would break down way society works, Sula's view of evil is based on a different goal and she acts according to a different set of standards. In other words, "Sula was distinctly different" (118). Sula "had been looking all along for a friend" (122) and that is the goal she is really trying to reach. In sleeping with many men, she is sort of looking for a release for her "misery and...deep sorrow" (122). She is trying to find a friend who she can
Open Document