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Word Count: 364
Spiritual Friendship in Toni Morrisons Sula Most of the pieces of African American literature we have explored thus far deal with an individual search for identity In Sula Toni Morrison takes an atypical approach having her characters search for identity take place together rather than individually This joint search for identity translates into a book that is actually about friendship However this friendship functions not only on a superficial level but also on an almost spiritual plain In the beginning of the story Sula and Nel are essentially opposites Nel is completely passive and gives in to everything her mother tells her to do On the other hand Sula is very aggressive almost to a fault and has many more freedoms than Nel Nel is confined and Sula is free By setting the two up as polar opposites Morrison makes it clear each one has something the other lacks This deficiency of each character in one particular area and the strength of the other in that same area is so great that they almost become two facets of the same being The comfort each feels in the others home demonstrates their initial and subconscious desire to merge into one being Morrison shows that the two facets cannot thrive individually Only by a join effort can they really be whole Then when the separate their lives are incomplete once more The two characters friendship created a bond which even happily married couples struggle to achieve one that creates one person out of two individual parts The loss of this bond leaves each woman completely fragmented and incomplete Nel recognizes this at the end of the novel All the time all the time I thought I was missing Jude And the loss pressed down on her chest and came up into her throat We was girls together she said as though explaining something O Lord Sula she cried girl girl girlgirlgirl Nel and Sula were not
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