Sula And Nel: Life-altering Experiences

  • Words 1337
  • Pages 3
Download PDF

Sula and Nel were like yin and yang; neither feeling complete without their other half. The two, who were distressed with their own families, sought comfort with one another as they intertwined their lives together, which created a soul connection. Throughout their life journeys, Sula and Nel tried to find love and acceptance with their deviated interpretations and views allowed them to find solace in each other. Sula and Nel’s love for one another consumed them as they navigated through a multitude of highs and lows in Toni Morrison’s Sula. Only complete with each other, Sula and Nel were dependent on the other for their happiness. Sula and Nel’s young friendship matured into a soul connection as life tested them with a spectrum of challenges, such as childhood bullies, adultery, and death, which proves deep-rooted friendships are capable of overcoming any obstacle.

Before evaluating Sula and Nel’s life-altering experiences, it is imperative to define and interpret their friendship’s dynamic. Saying the two were best friends does not even begin to describe their passionate connection. Initially, Sula and Nel were drawn to each other because the other’s family-style seemed better to the other. Nel admired how bizarre and unnatural Sula’s family was, while Sula longed for how structured and reserved Nel’s family was. Because both the girls sought out something missing in their lives, they gave each other a taste of what they craved as they formed an unbreakable relationship. While being heavily influenced by their individual families, Sula and Nel were each other’s closest companions because their loyalty to each other was vastly superior to their loyalty to their families. The women were individuals but needed the other to feel complete. Similar to the meaning of the yin-yang relationship, Nel and Sula were two opposing energy forced that had a little piece of each other in their own individuality. Morrison described Sula and Nel’s friendship “as intense as it was sudden,” as they “found relief in each other’s personalities” (Morrison 53). The two had complementing personalities, which helps explain how their connection was able to bolster through life’s many challenges. From a young age, they had experienced the good and the bad together, almost as if they were their own family of two. Sula and Nel were dependent on each other through life’s tests, which proves how strong and rare their connection truly was, as having a well-built friendship is beneficial to progress through life.

Click to get a unique essay

Our writers can write you a new plagiarism-free essay on any topic

As young as twelve years old, Sula and Nel had their first of many challenges that tested their loyalty and love for one another. When the Irish boys claimed Nel as their next bullying target, Sula remained with Nel as they tried to divert from the situation. Prior to this event, “Nel seemed stronger and more consistent than Sula” (53). As soon as Sula chose to slice off a piece of her finger to scare the boys away, Sula and Nel’s relationship become profound as they were tested on their loyalty. By standing up for Nel, Sula proved her allegiance, as the naïve friendship turned more into a family-like bond. The girls were young and naïve to the bigger world around them but were able to defend one another when faced with a smaller adversity which ultimately helped shape the girls’ connection to prepare them for experiences later in their lives. Experiencing something seen as minute as a child, fueled a soul-connection in the girls because Sula acted on an impulse to protect someone she genuinely loves. Not many children would be equipped with a strong friendship Sula and Nel had at such a young age in order to combat a petrifying bully. From a juvenile age, Sula and Nel grew to be dependent on one another. Sula’s loyalty was especially tested with the Irish boys as she shifted her reserved comfort level to take on a more protective role over Nel. Their defeat of a childhood bully encapsulated Sula and Nel’s loyalty in friendship as they navigated the rest of their lives. In addition to defeating childhood bullies together, the girls’ connection was tested with an adult-sized adversity of Nel’s unfaithful husband.

Seeing as Sula and Nel were raised with contrasting perceptions of sexual relations and intimacy, the women got tied up in Sula and Jude’s unfaithfulness. As most people value and maintain, a married man, especially a friend’s husband, is restricted from other women’s attempts to begin a romantic connection. However, Sula’s family dynamic held no standards of sexual relations and therefore thought nothing of it. Sula and Nel’s family background is important to highlight because it gives insight on how Sula could commit adultery with her best friend’s husband as a way to be closer to Nel. Despite the pain, Sula contributed to Nel’s broken marriage, their bond held them together as Nel began a downward spiral of confusion and hurt. Unlike most friendships involving an unfaithful husband and friend that completely sever ties, Nel needed Sula to confide in. After going over the situation and Sula and Nel’s relationship, Nel was more upset with Sula than her husband, which speaks to their devoted bond’s strength. Because the women were essentially a sisterhood, Nel was devastated and no longer had Sula to depend on. Nel “was in the midst of it [death], hating it [death], scared of it [death], and again she thought of Sula as though they were still friends” (110). After all the turmoil Sula contributed to Nel’s family life, their bond remained too strong for Nel to simply eradicate Sula’s friendship. Nel wanted to cling to Sula as they always had because their rare connection was always present, even in the face of death.

In defiance of death, Sula and Nel’s deep-rooted bond maintained its significance to the women when Sula got sick and closer to death. Even though Sula slept with Nel’s husband, Nel had no sense of completeness without Sula. After ending on a bad note with Nel, Sula died as she thought of Nel and everything she wanted to tell her. Sula smiled as she uttered, “Well, I’ll be damned, it didn’t even hurt. Wait’ll I tell Nel” (194). The two could not keep each other out of their thoughts and wanted to share the unknowns of death with one another. Once Sula passed away, Nel began to truly appreciate what Sula’s friendship meant and how much it impacted her. Nel cried out, “girl, girl, girlgirlgirl” as she yearned for her other half” (174). Nel’s “girlgirlgirl” signifies everything Nel wants to tell Sula and to have their friendship physically back. Because the women spent their lives standing up for each other, experiencing death at a young age, and attempting to live up to their parents’ expectations, Sula and Nel could not part with the other. As their friendship was tested multiple times, ultimately with death, the two were forever connected through each experience. Nel finally felt a sense of peace with Sula as she forgave Sula by claiming their love for each other was inevitably what they valued the most in life. Sula’s death ironically brought the two women emotionally even closer as Nel knows she will always have Sula near. Sula and Nel’s soul-connection allowed for them to be bonded throughout everything, even death.

Overall, Sula and Nel’s young friendship matured into a close bond as life tested them with childhood bullies, adultery, and death, which demonstrates how deep-rooted friendships can overcome any obstacle. Their friendship is something many wish to have, as Sula and Nel’s relationship was like the yin-yang relationship. Sula and Nel were able to go through deep times with each other and ended up stronger than before. While their different family dynamics drew the women together and formed a sort of sisterhood, Sula and Nel were able to bypass a multitude of experiences together. As they went through life attempting to find love and meaning, their bond was too strong for either Sula or Nel to abandon their soul tie. Even through their adversities, Sula and Nel remained bonded through life and death.  


We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.