The story uncovers the differences between the relatives of Sula, the protagonist, and her best friend Nel. The latter’s family is considerably integrated in the communal mob and know their rights and duties the praxis of which is reckoned to be radically obstinate; whereas the former’s kindred is deemed unorthodox. Nevertheless, all of the forth-mentioned disparities did not hinder the birth of a friendship between the two, and build - under the shadow of distinct backgrounds - a seemingly unbreakable relationship.
In the beginning, Nel underwent a way of life separate from her mother’s, Helene; she even aspired to set sail to a sea of adventure, if it was not for her friend. The bond has endured for years, until an unfortunate accident. While Sula and Nel were playing with Chicken Little, the latter slept through Sula’s fingers only to end up drowning. This unexpected tragedy would eventually pave the way for a relational complex.
After spending ten years in college, Sula has notoriously changed. She was regarded as a pure epitome of evil, as she embraced no care to her societal beliefs and decorum, which has resulted in a profound hatred towards her. As for Nel, Sula’s erotic liaison with Jude (Nel’s husband) has turned out to be an impetus to break up the entire relationship. Nonetheless, just before Sula passed away, Nel had returned in an attempt to figure out Sula’s rationale behind acting as such, which was unexpectedly shocking. Intimacy encompasses the sharing of all that is precious – including Jude himself.
With Sula’s fatality, there was a glimpse of hope that her death may bring brighter days, which has proven, to the detriment of her fellow inhabitants, a mere ignis fatuus. “It was as though the season has exhausted itself.” (Morrison, Sula 155) Meanwhile, Nel, who visited Eva in her nursing home, has received onerous imputations vis-à-vis Chicken Little’s “accidental demise”. In this way, Nel no longer saw things as the “good” Nel versus the “evil” Sula, but that she began doubting her plausible “goodness”.