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Word Count: 1,502
Many works of contemporary American fiction involve one individuals search for identity in a stifling and unsympathetic world In Sula Toni Morrison gives us two such individuals In Nel and Sula Morrison creates two individual female characters that at first are separate grows together and then is separated once more Although never physically reconciled Nels self discovery at the end of the novel permits the achievement of an almost impossible quest - the conjunction of two selves Morrison says she created Sula as a woman who could be used as a classic type of evil force and that she wanted Nel to be a warm conventional woman She says there was a little bit of both in each of these women if they had been one woman they would have been a rather marvelous person But each one lacked something the other had Morrison thus creates two completely different women yet allows them to merge into one The sustainment of the two selves as one proves difficult and Morrison allows them to pursue different paths But the two womens separate journeys and individual searches for their own selves leads to nothing but despair and Sulas death Nels realization that they were only truly individuals when they were joined as one allows them to merge once again Morrison portrays Sula and Nel as binary opposites at the beginning of the novel In our first view of Nel she is as conventional and conforming as a young lady can be Under Helenes hand the girl became obedient and polite Her mother calmed any enthusiasms that Nel showed until she drove her daughters imagination underground p18 In this passage Nel is merely an extension of her mother with no autonomy of her own Helenes hand is the iron fist of authority from under which Nel cannot release herself Morrison makes it clear here that Nel is a calm and unimaginative girl who conforms completely to her
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