Essay On The Foils In Toni Morrison's Sula

963 Words4 Pages
In the novel Sula, Toni Morrison focuses on the relationship between the protagonist Sula Peace and the foil Nel Wright, as well as their path to womanhood. Yet, Morrison includes details of the events within the upbringing and adulthood of each of their mothers. When the girls became young adults, their conduct within society resembled those of their mothers. The actions a mother takes are noticed by her daughter. In fact, a mother’s demeanor within society, may be inherited by her daughter. The behavior that Sula’s mother, Hannah and Nel’s mother, Helen upheld in their community, were assimilated by their daughters Sula and Nel, which lead them to a life of despair. In their community, Medallion, Hannah was viewed as a whore. She engaged in frequent sexual relations with any man that she came across.…show more content…
Helen keeps Nel attached to her waist, unwilling to let keep go. “I’m me. I’m not their daughter. I’m not Nel. I’m me.” Nel was determined not to be bounded by her mother’s fixed mentality, and find her way. However, after graduating from general school, “Nel reverts to her mother's rigid middle-class morality: marrying, living for her children, working hard as a cleaning woman for “respectability,” and visiting old people at the close of her life as a “good church woman.” (Lounsberry 126). Nel, unfortunately was influenced into the conventional ways of the community. She followed the traditional notions that was in place, but did not receive her happiness in return. Her husband, Jude, was unfaithful to her with her best friend Sula. Then, Jude abandons Nel without asking for her forgiveness. “The two most important people in her life have betrayed her. Nothing is left but that gray fuzzy ball hovering about her head and the pressing need to carry on for herself and her children.” (Nigro 729). Nel obeyed the standards set by society, but she is left with a cloud of
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