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Theme Of Sweat By Zora Neale Hurston

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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. In Hurston 's short story “Sweat”, the theme is expressed in many ways throughout the story, though most prominently by way of domestic violence and ungratefulness shown…show more content…
Sykes and Delia 's abusive relationship had been going on for 15 years. Delia makes the comment towards Sykes, “Ah been married to you fur fifteen years, and ah been takin ' in washin ' for fifteen years. Sweat, sweat, sweat!”. (Hurston) In the story, Sykes ' abusive side to him gets the very best of him. He is unappreciative towards Delia and all the “sweat” she puts into the house work. Sykes makes the remark towards Delia, “Don 't gimme no lip neither, else Ah 'll throw 'em out and put mah fist up side yo ' head to boot.” (Hurston) According to the story, Sykes kicked all of the clothes together again after Delia had sorted them out…show more content…
Sykes had a mistress named Bertha who he spoiled all the time, but the people in town always wondered why he never paid attention to Delia. Walter Thomas, one of the men from the store, said, “Ah 'd uh married huh mahself if he hadnter beat me to it.” (Hurston) All the men in town were jealous of Sykes because of Delia. But Sykes, on the other hand, didn 't see what he had right in front of him. The plotting of Delia 's death was all done by Sykes. He went out of his way to get a rattlesnake and place it in the clothes hamper with the lid on, hoping it would strike her while washing clothes. When Delia saw the snake, she scurried outside and hid in the barn until Sykes arrived home. Delia calmly stated, “Ah done de bes ' ah could. If things aint right, Gawd knows it aint mah fault.” (Hurston) After the freak accident of Sykes being struck by the rattlesnake and suffering a long and painful death, Delia, hearing all the screaming and moaning coming from inside her “broken” home, sat under a Chinaberry tree that was in the front yard. She felt a sense of relief after she heard Sykes crying for her help and her knowing that she could not do anything to help. Her fear of their relationship and of him that went on for 15 years, was finally over and she felt as if she achieved her
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