In the first part of the novel, Nel is constricted to little communication with anyone other than her mother. Her mother, Helene, is very strict, and Nel is under constant supervision and direction. Her identity is not able to grow because her mother is constantly guiding her down the path she wants her daughter to go. When Nel and Sula become friends, she is able to be herself. Helene is not as strict when Sula is around, so Nel is more comfortable in her own house and is able to develop an identity that is not her mother's idea. Sula lives in a much different environment. Her household does not hold much structure. Her mother is always with a different man, and new people are in and out every week. The two friends are raised in opposite backgrounds when it comes to family life, but that is what helps them contribute to each other's identity.
The friendship between Nel and Sula features two girls with different personalities that when combined bring to the relationship what the other lacks. Nel is the calm and controlled side which possesses maturity that Sula lacks. Sula is the wild and adventurous one that can also easily be scared. Each girl lends a characteristic that the other does not have which creates one identity between the two.
The two are ins...
... middle of paper ...
...o affected by the betrayal of Sula. She no longer has her husband or her friend to talk to, and becomes the woman who stays in her house and is afraid to have any personal connections with anyone other than her children. Nel does not attempt any other relationships, and maintains her status of calmness as she did the other half of her identity was not with her.
The two girls grow into one identity as they become adults, but tragedy forces them to once again return the individuals they were before the friendship grew. The town, who once referred to the two girls as one, now regard one as the girl who brings misfortunes, and the other as the one who experienced the betrayal from a wild and crazy outcast. The community grew together because of the severance of the single identity between the two girls which created a personality in Sula that Bottom disapproved of.
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