Student Question

In Sula, why did Sula have sex with Jude?

Quick answer:

Sula had sex with Jude because she did not love him and was not interested in him; he simply filled a space in her life. She considered love too risky and did not understand why Nel was so upset. Sula believed their friendship should involve sharing everything, including men, and did not view Nel and Jude's relationship as interesting.

Expert Answers

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In the chapter titled "1940," Nel asks Sula why she slept with Jude three years prior.  Sula clearly tells Nel that she did not love Jude, nor was she really interested in him--he simply filled a space in her life.  She also tells Nel that love is risky, so loving Jude was out of the question.  Nel is shocked and upset by this response because Sula suggests that the friendship between the two women was ruined for nothing.  Sula, however, still does not understand why Nel is so angry with her for sleeping with Jude.  From Sula's perspective, Nel and Jude did not have an interesting relationship, and Sula was always rather free around men.  It almost seems as if Sula thinks that Nel as her best friend should be willing and wanting to share absolutely everything with her.

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