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. Her husband’s vindictive acts of torment and the way he has selfishly utilized her can only be defined as malignant. In the end of this leaves the hardworking woman no choice but to make the most arduous decision of her life. That is, to either stand up for herself and let her husband expire or to continue to serve as a victim. "Sweat,” reflects the plight of women during the 1920s through 30s, as the African American culture was undergoing a shift in domestic dynamics. In times of slavery, women generally led African American families and assumed the role as the adherent of the family, taking up domestic responsibilities. On the other hand, the males, slaves at the time, were emasculated by their obligations and treatment by white masters. Emancipation and Reconstruction brought change to these dynamics as African American men commenced working at paying jobs and women were abandoned at home. African American women were assimilated only on the most superficial of calibers into a subcategory of human existence defined by gender-predicated discrimination. (Chambliss) In accordance to this story, Delia was the bread victor fortifying herself and Sykes. Zora Neale Hurston’s 1926 “Sweat” demonstrates the vigor as wel... ... middle of paper ... ...ng point, ‘“Mah cup is done run ovah,”’ again, another metaphorical illustration of how tired she is of being physically mistreated and mentally abused by Sykes, thus, her rage is channeled towards protecting herself and the property she has assumed through her dedication as a washwoman. Hurston makes this ever so clear as Delia shouts at Sykes, ‘“Don't think Ah'm gointuh be run 'way fum mah house neither.”’ Sykes has been unfaithful to Delia for a while now and she has finally taken the final straw. Hurston empowers Delia, through writing, “Delia said this with no signs of fear and Sykes departed from the house, threatening her, but made not the slightest move to carry out any of them.” This is an important step for Delia towards independence. Delia is no longer afraid of Sykes, however she has one more fear to overcome before she is completely free of oppression.
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
Delia, a flower in a rough of weeds. That is what I got from this story in one sentence, although knowing my grammar possibly not. Hurston’s tale of a shattered woman, gives us a glimpse into what was possibly the life of women at that time. There were many convictions against men in the story, although it may have been unintentional, not to say she was a hard-core feminist there were episodes of male remorse.
'You sho' is one aggravatin' nigger woman!'; this is only one example of the abuse in Zora Neale Hurston's short story, 'Sweat'. Spousal abuse is a very common issue in today's society. Hurston represents this form of abuse through the way the husband talks to his wife and the way he treats her.
This paper examines the drastic differences in literary themes and styles of Richard Wright and Zora Neale Hurston, two African--American writers from the early 1900's. The portrayals of African-American women by each author are contrasted based on specific examples from their two most prominent novels, Native Son by Wright, and Their Eyes Were Watching God by Hurston. With the intent to explain this divergence, the autobiographies of both authors (Black Boy and Dust Tracks on a Road) are also analyzed. Particular examples from the lives of each author are cited to demonstrate the contrasting lifestyles and experiences that created these disparities, drawing parallels between the authors’ lives and creative endeavors. It becomes apparent that Wright's traumatic experiences involving females and Hurston's identity as a strong, independent and successful Black artist contributed significantly to the ways in which they chose to depict African-American women and what goals they adhered to in reaching and touching a specific audience with the messages contained in their writing.
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.
"Sweat" by Zora Neale Hurston is filled with symbolism ranging from images that are easily captured to things that require a little bit more insight. Religion has apparently played a major role in Hurston's life, readily seen in "Sweat" with the references to a snake and Gethsemane. Symbolism plays a big part of this story and after analyzing these, they give the story a deeper meaning and can enlighten the reader as to the full meaning of "Sweat".
The short story, "Sweat", was composed by Zora Neale Hurtson in 1926. As of now in South America, there was a position of racial division. It was composed in a period when ladies were dealt with unequal, particularly in their relational unions. Zora Neale Hurston's "Sweat" is a bewildering work of fiction. It caught the pith of getting what you merit at last. The perspective of Hurston's "Sweat" depicted, adds to the topic and significance. In the event that the perspective was distinctive, it could degenerate the significance and after that the story would lose it control. I surmise that the significance is impeccable and made clear. Moreover, the voice change before all else changes the perspective radically and drastically. When you read the story, despite the fact that the matter of race is not predominant in the story, it is pervasive in the psyches of the characters. Delia gets herself stuck in an excruciating marriage. Her better half, Sykes, abuses her, leaves all work to her, and is unfaithful. Subsequent to being hitched to Sykes for a long time, Delia has lost all expectation in the marriage. The innumerable beatings and agonizing demonstrations of Sykes have brought her over the edge.
focuses on how women of color are powerful. After, several years of abusive marriage Delia learned how to defend herself when her husband that physically abused her. “She seized the iron skillet from the stove and struck a defensive pose, which act surprised him greatly coming from her. It cowed him and he did not strike her as he usually did” (Hurston 2). Sykes was surprised when Delia tried to protect herself for the first time when he tried to attack her. She has been quiet for the past fifteen years, but she had enough so she had to defend herself in some way. People in her town knew that Sykes cheated on Delia, but she did not care what other people thought about her. Also, all the men that knew about Sykes cheating did not do anything at all and it shows how men react to the situation. Men do not involve into other families businesses and they help each other by protecting them. Delia thought about forgetting what happened with the snake when she thought that Sykes got rid of the snake, but the snake was still there and ended up hurting Sykes the person who have first brought the snake into the house. She has been inferior to her husband for about fifteen years and this shows how powerful Delia is because she endured all the things that happened to her. It is very powerful of thinking about forgetting the thing that Sykes have done to her which shows her true identity as a powerful woman who can forgive something that hurt her for so many years. This shows how women forgivers while being powerful at the same time.
Soon after a drunken Sykes returns home, making his presence known by rudely kicking and snatching the covers off of Delia. She ignores him. Moreover, the next week Delia finds herself entering the village, collecting and delivering clothes. The village men waste no time in discussing her, even speaking about Sykes. They spoke on their relationship and how Sykes badly treated his wife; constantly using and abusing the poor woman. “There oughter be a law about him” one man projected. “Tain’t no law on earth dat kin make a man be decent if it aint in ‘im” they proceeded. “We oughter kill him” another said. The men agree. In the midst of their heated conversation, in walks Sykes and Bertha. Meanwhile, Delia is on her way home and sees the two together. This contented Sykes. “It pleased him for Delia to see.” Contrary to how Sykes treats Delia, he is never reluctant to inform Bertha she is allowed to get anything her heart desires. Months pass and the arguing between Sykes and Delia only grows more impassioned and stormy. They slept and ate in silence. One hot August day,
Masculinity and the role of women in a male society is a central theme in Zora Neale Huston’s “Sweat”, Maxine Hong Kingston’s “Woman Warrior”, and Sandra Cisneros’s “Woman Hollering Creek”. The men in these stories are violent, degrading, and unfaithful. The protagonist in Sweat, Delia Jones, husband, Sykes, is an example of these three terms. He showed his violence towards her multiple time. His violence is so brutal that it has visibly changed Delia, not only in the physical sense, but also her demeanor which he neighbors point out as she walked past them, “Too much knockin' will ruin any 'oman. He done beat huh 'nough tuh kill three women, let 'lone change they looks…” (Huston 953). He degraded his wife verbally by referring to her as a
Sweat brings forth matters regarding not solely gender inequality of women in the 1920’s and 1930’s, but it predominantly demonstrating inequality within the African American women as a whole. “Sweat” correspondingly relinquishes an insight of gender roles, sexism, infidelity, detestation, polygamy as well as enslavement towards women.
One of the key components of literature is the usage of elements, these elements of literature provides readers underlying themes that authors put into their story. Without these elements of literature, the author would have no way to convey their true messages into their works. In Zora Neale Hurston’s story “Sweat”, Hurston uses many elements of literature to convey the seriousness and true relationship of couples that have a history of domestic violence. However, a specific element of literature that Hurston uses are symbols which give readers a clearer understanding of domestic abuse and most importantly, the characteristics of the victim and perpetrator of an abusive relationship. The symbols that Hurston uses in her story are what fortifies her plot and characters in “Sweat”. The symbols that Hurston uses are necessary because it destroys the typical gender role stereotypes between men and women. This is necessary because there is such a difference between the portrayal of men and women, men often being superior to women. Hurston uses through her symbol to show some equality between men and women or at points women can also be superior against men.
Zora Neale Hurston is a remarkable author who reflects her life in most of her novels, short stories, and essays. She was a writer during the Harlem Renaissance but her work was not given its proper recognition until many years later. “Sweat” is a short story rich in morals and religious. The story is about an African American woman in the South who depends on her faith in God to see her through her marital vows that have lost their meaning. Religious symbolism plays a significant role in this story and gives the story a deeper meaning. The two main characters, Delia and Sykes Jones are described as two people on opposite ends of the moral spectrum that are bound by meaningless marital vows.
“Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston, is a very powerful story about a young woman named Delia overcoming her harsh and abusive husband Sykes. Throughout the story Delia displays the attributes of what it means to be a real Christian. I believe that her faith and hard work throughout this story is the reason that she overcame her hardships in her relationship. It seems that at many times in the story Delia is getting pushed around and abused but always keeps her head up and maintains a good attitude. In the short story, the theme of faith is rewarded through Delia’s faith in god, the interplay of light/dark, and the death of her husband Sykes.
Harriet Jacobs’ narrative is a powerful statement unveiling the impossibility and undesirability of achieving the ideal put forth by men and maintained by women. Jacobs directs her account of the afflictions a woman is subjected to in the chain of slavery to women of the north to gain sympathy for their sisters that were enslaved in the south. In showing this, Jacobs reveals the danger of such self disapprobation women maintained by accepting the idealized role that men have set a goal for which to strive. She suggests that slave women be judged by different standards than those applied to other women. Jacobs develops a moral code that apprises the specific social and historical position of captive black women. Jacobs’ will power and strength shown in her narrative are characteristics of womanly behavior being developed by the emerging feminist movement.
In literature, the significant themes of a story can sometimes be developed within dramatic death scenes. With that being said, Zora Neale Hurston 's presents an unappreciated housewife and her high-class husband 's sinful ways which ultimately lead to the husband 's unplanned death, in her short story “Sweat”. The concluding death scene can best be described as illustrating the theme as “what goes around comes around”. Sykes was abusive and tried plotting his wife, Delia 's, death by using a rattlesnake, but his plan backfired and it was Sykes that was killed in the end.