“She lay awake, gazing upon the debris that cluttered their matrimonial trail. Not an image left standing along the way. Anything like flowers had long ago been drowned in the salty stream that had been pressed from her heart. Her tears, her sweat, her blood. She had brought love to the union and he had brought a longing after the flesh. Two months after the wedding, he had given her the first brutal beating. She had the memory of his numerous trips to Orlando with all of his wages when he had returned to her penniless, even before the first year had passed. She was young and soft then, but now she thought of her knotty, muscles limbs, her harsh knuckly hands, and drew herself up into an unhappy little ball in the middle of the big feather bed. Too late now to hope for love, even if it were not Bertha it would be someone else. This case differed from the others only in that she was bolder than the others. Too late for everything except her little home. She had built it for her old days, and planted one by one the trees and flowers there. It was lovely to her, lovely.” (Hurston 680).
This scene occurs when Delia is lying on her bed, thinking of what had just previously happened. Sykes had gotten home, and as usual, a fight erupted between the two former lovers. The difference about this confrontation though, was that Sykes did not strike Delia, as what usually happens. Delia picked up a metal skillet and threatened to defend herself from her husband as he cowed in fear of being hit. This new approach from Delia, involving a new intimidation, shows how her unnecessary sweat and hard work had gotten to be too much. The act of seizing a skillet from the stove to protect herself symbolizes how in essence, Delia is trying to defend her home. The skillet is a fragment of the house, and as she st...
... middle of paper ...
...h will occur that night.
The circumstances of any person’s life will eventually decide the outcome. Negative conditions can be bearable enough that there will not be a thorough change in one’s life, but worse situations can have different effects. Sometimes a person is forced to make a change in the way they live their life in order to make it tolerable. In Sweat, by Zora Neale Hurston, Delia’s attitude toward her bad marriage changes because of her lack of endurance for her life. The fire behind her eyes could no longer be restricted by Sykes’ mistreatments and unfaithfulness. Delia’s water had boiled over and what resulted was a flame of another kind. She confronted all that Sykes was with a newly found indifference, and would take a stand against his wrongdoings. The question in which the conclusion of the story asks has to deal with Delia’s devotion to God and her religion. Is it OK to let him die? One may answer the question either way, but essentially, the response will be found in the eye of the beholder.
Hurston, Zora Neale. "Sweat." The Story and Its Writer An Introduction to Short Fiction. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1999. 678-687.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- “Sweat” by Zora Neal Hurston is one simple yet powerful story that aims to reveal the plight of women through Delia. Delia turns out to be an empowered woman who has built her own home, handles her family’s finances, works hard, and takes pleasure in the results of her hard work. The fascinating fact about Delia whom I believe represents women in general, is that she was able to establish and maintain a home despite being married to an inconsiderate husband who only brought a longing for the flesh instead of love into the relationship (699).... [tags: Delia, women, marriage, tormenting marriage]
733 words (2.1 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)
- 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)
- 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.... [tags: Marriage, Zora Neale Hurston, Snake, A Story]
759 words (2.2 pages)
- “You get what you give, whether it’s good or bad,” says author Sandra Bullock. This is evidently portrayed in the story “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston. It focuses on the marriage life of an African American woman Delia Jones and her husband, Sykes Jones. Hurston is known as a famous American writer, she writes about real life stories as it was during the years when she wrote the stories. The story is about Delia Jones, who is a nice, hardworking, and religious woman, who marries Sykes and has been living in a strained marriage life for fifteen years.... [tags: Marriage, Zora Neale Hurston, Snake, Abuse]
1049 words (3 pages)
- In the short story “Sweat,” Zora Neale Hurston describes the final months of marriage between Delia Jones and her husband Sykes. Delia’s hard work supports both her husband and their small home, but Sykes takes Delia’s earnings and spends as he pleases. He is also known within their Florida town for his extramarital affairs. Delia’s life is one of managed goodness, and Sykes is Delia’s opposite in all ways. In an attempt to drive Delia from their marriage, Sykes brings a large rattlesnake into their home.... [tags: Sweat, Zora Neale Hurston]
1285 words (3.7 pages)
- Sykes and Delia Jones have been married for fifteen dreadful years. He is nothing more than a disgraceful selfish husband. Although Delia states “She had brought love to the union and he had brought a longing after the flesh” (Hurston) Sykes resents her. In the short story Sweat written by Zora Neale Hurston, the character Sykes is a cruel and unfaithful husband. Together these two traits create a troubled character. As the story opens he scares his wife Delia by throwing his big bull whip on her shoulders knowing that she may assume it is a snake.... [tags: Marriage, Husband, Zora Neale Hurston, Wife]
881 words (2.5 pages)
- Zora Neale Hurston’s short story Sweat is a visceral reminder of the acute oppression and sexism women have always faced in American society. The protagonist of the story, Delia, is married to a cruel and angry man named Sykes. Through a depiction of their married life this short story shows that despite patriarchal oppression, women have exercised their agency and resisted in a myriad of ways. The story begins with Delia, a working Black woman in Florida, who is a wash woman. It is a warm spring day and she is sorting and soaking the clothing she washes for the white residents of her town.... [tags: sexism, women, delia]
1248 words (3.6 pages)
- Each author has her or his own particular voice. The distinction between a male author and a female essayist, or a male and female anything that is concerned, is essentially physical and social. The male is characterized by the employment or role he decides to tackle. He is an author, or a rancher, or a transport driver, or a gourmet specialist, or whatever. The Woman is a lady first. Her career choice, in many societies, is optional. They both have diverse written work styles. Writers, also catch the significant feelings that contain a specific article, topic or occasion.... [tags: Woman, Gender, Female, Zora Neale Hurston]
814 words (2.3 pages)
- Marriage is a concept that society takes extremely inaccurately. It is not something one can fall back from. Once someone enter it there is no way back. In Zora Neale Hurston’s short story “Sweat” she tells the story of Delia, a washerwoman whom Sykes, her husband, mistreats while he ventures around with other women and later attempts to kill Delia to open a way for a second marriage with one of his mistresses. By looking at “Sweat” through the feminist and historical lens Hurston illustrates the idea of a sexist society full of men exploiting and breaking down women until men dispose of them.... [tags: marriage, feminist, christians]
1460 words (4.2 pages)