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"Sula" By Toni Morrison Essay

1395 words - 6 pages

Two Become OneIn the book Sula by Toni Morrison, we explore the friendship of two young girls in the small town of Bottom. However, it is not their friendship that is so compelling but how they are such opposite in the way they relate to other people, to the world around them and toward each other. Theirs is a symbiotic relationship; one, without the other, will not suffice in its existence. Only the combination of both characters succeeds in constructing a solid identity for one another. Together they form a solid working unit.Brought together through their family life, the two seemingly diametrically opposed girls find solace in one another. Nel is balanced and lucid, while Sula is wild ...view middle of the document...

A constant stream of boarders complements the long-term residents of Sula Peace's home. Sula's exorbitance results from an eccentric upbringing that openly welcomes and practices transience. Her house is a "throbbing disorder constantly awry with things, people, voices and the slamming of doors" (52). Sex in the Peace home is so open and recurrent that Sula learns early on, "that sex was pleasant and frequent, but otherwise unremarkable" (44). Although her mother Eva makes the sacrifice of loosing a leg to support her family there is a lack of emotional support in the home.This is evident also in Wright household. Nel is raised in an atmosphere of " oppressive neatness" (29), a strict organized household that instills society's rules in her. Under her mother's discipline, Nel is raised to be " obedient and polite", with no freedom for personal expression. Nel's sprit and imagination are constantly under attack, "Any enthusiasms that little Nel showed were calmed by the mother until she drove her daughter's imagination underground" (18). Their separate emotional rollercoaster's compel the girls to seek their missing components in each other's company. Sula is searching to be a part of a life with order and structure, and Nel is desperately trying to escape the confines of "the high silence of her mother's incredibly orderly house" (51). What each lacks in herself they find in the other. As a result, each girl's flaw is transformed into her advantage. Because they are able to console one another, with Sula's presence, Nel no longer "regarded the oppressive neatness of her home with dread, but felt comfortable in it with Sula" (29). Similarly, Nel's appreciation for "Sula's woolly house, where a pot of something was always cooking on the stove; where the mother, Hannah, never scolded or gave directions" (29) leads Sula to relish in the satisfaction that someone else shares her experiences. Consequently, the concretion of their friendship springs from the fact that "they found relief in each other's personalities" (53); or so to say, they cure each other's loneliness, a "loneliness was so profound it intoxicated them and sent them stumbling into Technicolored visions" (51). Together, they are able to withstand obstacles neither would be able to face alone. Nel and Sula share with each other what they cannot with anyone else. Thus, "their meeting was fortunate, for it let them use each other to grow on" (52). Sula and Nel were like stepping-stones to one another, each moving to the next level from the strengths that they brought to the friendship. They have this common unspoken goal to become more then what they were brought up to be. They both search for an identity to reflect themselves, and not only hat was expected of them, "because each had discovered years before that they were neither white nor male, and that all freedom and triumph was forbidden to them, they had set about creating something else...

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