Analysis of Sula by Toni Morrison Essay examples

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Analysis of Sula by Toni Morrison

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
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Sula abandons the Bottom after Nel marries. Sula does this because she thinks doing one thing forever is hell. Nel doesn't understand Sula's idea of the need for abandonment, "Sula was wrong. Hell ain't things lasting forever. Hell is change." When Sula returns she betrays Nel's friendship by sleeping with her husband Jude. The grief Nel feels after Jude left her is serious and forces the reader to wonder why Sula would promote Jude leaving Nel by sleeping with him. This pain is so real it is almost tangible. Later, when Ajax leaves Sula, once again we revisit the idea of leaving someone in your life because consistency was getting a little too comfortable for Ajax. Jude left Nel because he saw freedom, while Ajax left Sula because he saw commitment. Sula comments that his absence was everywhere. This idea is present throughout the novel. Although there is physical abandonment, the scars are left behind for people to suffer and work through the change.

Another major theme of the novel is the question of right versus wrong or good versus bad; but the conventional ideas of good and evil are turned upside in the novel. Throughout the book, Sula is judged to be bad by the society that surrounds her, while Nel is thought to be the picture of goodness. Even though the whole town of Medallion thinks Sula is the devil, she brings good to the town. Each person in the Bottom's quality of life improves, because they

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