Toni Morrison wrote a touching story of two childhood friends who test the bonds of friendship and love. Throughout the story there are many themes that implore the reader to look more in depth at their meanings and consequences.
The main theme throughout the book is that of friendship. In the novel we are introduced to two young girls from very different backgrounds, Sula and Nel. These two girls are like two sides of one person; they know each other's thoughts, "a compliment to one was a compliment to the other." Although they appear to be best friends through much of the novel, they betray one another in the end.
As the reader follows along with the story it becomes quite obvious that Sula and Nel are polar opposites in their actions and their lifestyles. Sula depended upon Nel for sturdiness and comfort, while Nel preferred the unpredictable nature of her counterpart. They used the other's lifestyle to compensate for their shortcomings by placing themselves in the other's surroundings. When Sula visited Nel's home, she was comfortable in it, while Nel regarded the oppressive neatness with dread, but felt comfortable in it, with Sula. In the same way, Sula found comfort within the walls of the Wright home. They took solace in each other's presence. Each one finds comfort in what the other finds bothersome. Sula dislikes her disheveled house, and wishes that she could live in the clean house of Nel's. Nel likes the homeliness of Sula's house.
Abandonment plays a major role in the novel as well. This theme is evident in many different points in the story. Boy-Boy, Sula's grandfather, leaves Eva, Sula's grandmother, after a long unhealthy marriage. He left her w...
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...ple's fears of death and make them realize that it is unpredictable, many people of the Bottom die in a presentation following the annual parade. Sula and Nel are two halves of a whole. The conforming Nel searches for a sense of order in her life when she marries Jude at a young age, which in the end seems to fail in giving her a happy life. Sula, on the other hand, opposes the conventions of society and ends her life rather satisfied.
Throughout the novel there were many themes present. Ms. Morrison did a wonderful job of writing an entertaining story while providing the reader with many opportunities to look for deeper meanings and analyze the story. In looking for a deeper meaning the reader is presented with an unforgettable portrait of the effects friendship and love on a relationship.
Morrison, Toni. Sula. Plume. New York: 1973.
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