While Delia is challenging the idealistic gender roles, Sykes is oppressing her and all that she stands for. Sykes’s degrading personality is apparent through his actions towards Delia, “He picked up the whip and glared down at her,” (Hurston). Despite how hard she works Delia is still punished by Sykes’s actions. He literally and metaphorically beats her until she is no longer the same woman she once was. His evil and degrading ways are at a constant struggle between Delia’s hardworking and good work ethic. Through the character development and actions, Hurston is able to portray the oppression between gender roles that was so prevalent for the time period for which this story was written.
The story’s theme relies heavily on the constant struggle between good and evil and God and the Devil. Delia is a religious woman who is compassionate ...
... middle of paper ...
...erself from the oppression. Although neither choice is ideal nor moral, it serves as a lesson. Zora Neale Hurston provides the women of this time period the opportunity and hope that it is possible to face oppression.
Hurston intertwines the themes of oppression with the struggle of good vs. evil. This short story serves as message to women to stand up to the oppressive gender roles that many face even today. Sykes striving for superiority is what ultimately oppresses Delia and forces the normal gender roles upon her. The idea of masculinity affecting gender roles and creating a struggle between good vs. evil creates a better understanding of what it was like to be a woman during the 1920’s. Since this theme was an issue during this time period, the story itself sheds some light on the subject and serves as an opportunity for women to make a change like Delia did.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Zora Neale Hurston wrote “Sweat” in 1926. During this time period, it was still a common practice to segregate whites from blacks and women were still not considered equals. Delia, the main character and protagonist of “Sweat”, was at a great disadvantage and represented many of the struggles that women faced during this time period. The one aspect that differed, however, was the fact that Delia was the sole provider for herself and Sykes. This was extremely uncommon during this time which could be a factor for why Sykes treated her with such disrespect.... [tags: Woman, Gender role, Oppression, Gender]
1051 words (3 pages)
- The two works of literature nudging at the idea of women and their roles as domestic laborers were the works of Zora Neale Hurston in her short story “Sweat”, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story “The Yellow Wallpaper”. Whatever the setting may be, whether it is the 1920’s with a woman putting her blood, sweat and tears into her job to provide for herself and her husband, or the 1890’s where a new mother is forced to stay at home and not express herself to her full potential, women have been forced into these boxes of what is and is not acceptable to do as a woman working or living at home.... [tags: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper]
1256 words (3.6 pages)
- A Formalistic Analysis of Zora Neale Hurston’s “Sweat” Zora Neal Hurston’s, “Sweat”, is the story of a hardworking, humble laundress named Delia and the conflict she faces with her abusive, philandering husband Sykes. The two central characters, Delia and Sykes, play out roles which spin off of each other and reflect each other’s actions. Through use of visual images and patterns early on in the story, Hurston creates a stage to foreshadow scenes throughout the storyline with a nearly mirrorlike effect, giving depth to the story with its centrifugal force.... [tags: Zora Neale Hurston]
913 words (2.6 pages)
- Zora Neale Hurston’s “Sweat” is a distressing tale of human struggle as it relates to women. The story commences with a hardworking black washwoman named Delia contently and peacefully folds laundry in her quiet home. Her placidity doesn’t last long when her abusive husband, Sykes, emerges just in time to put her back in her ill-treated place. Delia has been taken by this abuse for some fifteen years. She has lived with relentless beatings, adultery, even six-foot long venomous snakes put in places she requires to get to.... [tags: literary analysis, character development]
782 words (2.2 pages)
- Women were viewed largely inferior to men at the time when this story was written. The story revolves around a couple Delia and Sykes, who have been unhappily married for 15 long years. It focuses on the turning point in Delia’s life when her husband wants her to go away from his life but eventually falls in his own trap and dies. “Sweat” starts with Delia Jones soaking clothes and wondering where her husband has gone. While she had been in her thoughts she is frightened by bullwhip by her husband Sykes as he knows how much she afraid of snakes.... [tags: Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston]
1372 words (3.9 pages)
- Before we explore Zora Neale Hurston’s literary content of “Sweat” in relation to feminism theory, we must first understand the meaning behind feminism theory as well as the Author and setting in which this short story takes place. I intend to use multiple sources from scholarly peer-reviewed journals and websites that help back my sentiments of Zora Neale Hurston using her literature to illustrate a time of women empowerment. While some may argue that this story paints a picture of great sorrow for women, I believe that it is that very argument that can used to show how women still thrive after being mistreated with inadequate respect in comparison to men overall.... [tags: Feminism, Woman, Women's suffrage, Gender]
2088 words (6 pages)
- The main character in Zora Neale Hurston’s “Sweat” is a black woman who resides in the South that clutches on to her belief in God to help her get through the suffering that she endures from her abusive and adulterous husband, Sykes. “Sweat” is full of religious symbolism that demonstrates that Hurston was using the theme of good vs. evil in the short story. In the very beginning of “Sweat” one can see that Delia possesses a very strong work ethic, by the way that she is working vigorously to wash the clothes for the white people that she worked for to put food on the table and a roof over her and Sykes’ head.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
1217 words (3.5 pages)
- The Conveyance of Emotion in the Writing of Zora Neale Hurston Sharpening Her Oyster Knife: I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all. I do not belong to the sobbing school of Negrohood who hold that nature somehow has given them a lowdown dirty deal and whose feelings are all hurt about it....No, I do not weep at the world -- I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife. ___Zora Neale Hurston Zora Neale Hurston kept busy sharpening her oyster knife not to prepare for any violent confrontations with white society but quite the opposite, to extract the raw materials from her own culture and cultivate... [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]
1666 words (4.8 pages)
- Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston At the time when African Americans writers were struggling, Zora Neale Hurston was realized by her fresh and utterly distinctive language of text. Her style was not so much invented, but it is cleverly brewed together with the poetry of black folk speech.... [tags: Zora Neale Hurston, Sweat]
937 words (2.7 pages)
- Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston Zora Neale Hurston is a remarkable author who reflects her life in most of her novels, short stories, and her essays. She was a writer during the Harlem Renaissance, also known as “the new negro movement”, however; her writings were not given proper recognition at first because they were not of the “norm” for that time period. All of the authors during the Harlem Renaissance were expected to write about race with a political mind set. Hurston was tired of seeing the same writings just different authors so her literary works were very different and were meant to stand out (Trudell).... [tags: Zora Neale Hurston Sweat]
964 words (2.8 pages)