1965 1. In this chapter Nel visits Eva. Describe in detail what they talk about. When Nel finishes visiting Eva, what does she admit? 2. Describe the scene at the very end of the novel, when Nel goes out to the cemetery to visit Sula’s grave. What happens, what is revealed?

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In this chapter, Nel goes to visit Eva in the old people's home, curious about how she will seem. Eva had been active in the church only a year before, and Nel doesn't think she is sufficiently impaired to need "putting away." But Eva's conversation is strangely abrupt, darting from...

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In this chapter, Nel goes to visit Eva in the old people's home, curious about how she will seem. Eva had been active in the church only a year before, and Nel doesn't think she is sufficiently impaired to need "putting away." But Eva's conversation is strangely abrupt, darting from an initial inquiry as to whether Nel has eaten "something funny" today onto saying, "Tell me how you killed that little boy."

Nel, shaken, denies it, saying, "That was Sula," but Eva tells her that as she was there, watching, it doesn't matter whether it was Nel or Sula. Nel is horrified and demands to know where Eva has been hearing these things. Continually, Eva breaks off to refer to oranges and orange juice; it is clear that she is, to a certain extent, losing her mind, but she definitely seems clear on the memory of what she is describing. When Nel asks, "Why are you trying to make out like I did it?", Eva, for the first time, "looked sane." She says nobody would know better than Nel whether or not she is guilty.

Afterwards, as she is walking away, Nel remembers properly what happened and admits to herself that, while Sula was crying, she was "calm," and she did indeed "watch," rather than see, the accident. "Just as the water closed peacefully over the turbulence of Chicken Little's body, so had contentment washed over her enjoyment." It was not Sula who had behaved improperly, but Nel.

After this, in the closing scene of the novel, Nel goes down to the cemetery to visit the graves of Sula, Plum, Hannah, and Pearl. She reminisces sadly about the events at the time of Sula's death, when she was largely abandoned by the people of her neighborhood and left to the "white people" to be buried; only after all the mourners had left did the black people come to the cemetery "with hooded hearts and filled eyes." As she turns from the grave, Nel spots Shadrack, and the sight seems to stir a memory in her: "they both remembered gone things." Abruptly, Nel stops, and says Sula's name. "All that time, all that time, I thought I was missing Jude." The end of the novel is very painful:

"We was girls together," she said as though explaining something. "O Lord, Sula," she cried

There is something for our interpretation in this: Nel is discovering something for herself, but what it is is not explained explicitly to us. We can surmise, however, that she has suddenly realized that her pain over the Sula and Jude affair was more because she loved Sula and did not want to lose her than because she could not stand losing Jude. Finally she recognizes her own part in the drowning of Chicken Little and forgives Sula.

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