Sula Summary

In Sula, the friendship between Sula and Nel is repeatedly tested. Their friendship survives many absences as they mature into adults, but is forever changed when Sula sleeps with Nel's husband Jude. Years later, when Sula lies on her deathbed, Nel realizes how much she misses her friend.

  • Sula and Nel grow up in the Bottom, an African-American community nestled in a hilly landscape said to be the bottom of heaven. They quickly become best friends.

  • While Sula goes to college, Nel stays home and marries Jude. After Sula returns, she and Jude have an affair. Nel catches them and is unable to forgive her friend.

  • Sula and Nel don't speak for many years. When Sula falls deathly ill, Nel visits her. Only then does Nel realize how much she missed her friend.
Additional Content
  • Overview
  • Summary (Literary Essentials: African American Literature)
  • Summary (Critical Survey of Literature for Students)
  • Summary (Masterpieces of American Literature)

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