Response To Essay, Research Paper
Zora Neale Hurston wrote Sweat in the early 1900 s. This story shows the extent of an African American women struggling in this time. Hurston died in a welfare home, she was poor and buried in an unmarked grave, this shows of how in the story the author is a lot like the character.
The story takes place in Flordia. Delia Jones, the main character, is a washwoman who works very hard for her money while her husband obviously neglects her and has extra marital affairs. All of the community is aware of Syke Jones (Delia s husband) actions and also of how he physically abuses Delia.
Hurston emphasizes the word sweat in the beginning of this short story. The author uses it to show the extent of labor that Delia does. Delia rises early and works very hard just to help support her husband. Hurston wrote sweat, sweat, sweat! Work and sweat, cry and sweat, pray and sweat. This shows that no matter what Delia does it is a constant struggle. She works hard everyday, and sometimes it takes a toll on her, also when she tries to have time to pray it is still a struggle for her because that is the time when she must accept the things she cannot change, even though she wants a better life for herself.
Delia thinks of her marriage in an unhappy manner. Delia uses flowers to speak of what once was between her and Syke. Their relationship use to be different he use to love her and treat her right, but after they were married things drastically changed. She speaks of her marriage in comparison to a flower drowning in a salty stream. The salty stream could represent the tears that she has shed over the years, or it could show how everything has withered away because when a flower is subjected to salt water it shrivels up. So the author could of used the flower and salty stream to mean either of these things. Either way it shows her heartache.
Delia home was her escape. She had worked hard for it and used beautiful things such as trees and flowers to make her life seem happier in her home even though it is a gloomy place for her. She began putting up an emotional wall and began realizing her husband s wrongs.
In the third part of the story it reveals the Syke has a mistress living close by, Syke pays for his mistress s rent while he does not contribute much to his wife, who works extremely hard to keep their home. The marriage was falling apart and it has now become extremely apparent. The author used the phrase grass withered, leaves browned she was speaking about the dog days of summer which is the most uncomfortable time of year. Which in their marriage this was the most uncomfortable thing she had to deal with. Then there was an introduction of a rattlesnake. The rattlesnake represent evil, and the fact that Syke is trying to tame the snake shows of how he deceives his wife by cheating on her.
Later in the story Delia Speaks of how she grows to hate Sykes. She begins doing her daily work, which is washing clothes, in the end of the story she is washing a load of white clothes, which may represent cleansing herself of Sykes evil. Toward the end of the story Delia and Sykes had a sort of falling out. Delia realized that with the same passion she had loved this man, she began to hate him to the same extent. For Delia it became a thin line between love and hate and finally she had realized that what she had for Syke was hate not love at all. Delia awoke the next day and used gray skies to show that something bad was going to happen. Then while Sykes was in the kitchen the rattlesnake has bit him and killed him. Delia watched as he died because there was nothing she could do.
The way the story ended showed that Syke thought he had control over things in his life such as his wife and the rattlesnake but they both turned on him. The theme of this story is what goes around comes around. Syke wronged Delia during his life and his rattlesnake, which he thought he had control over, wronged him by killing him. It showed that sometimes the only person you can count on for your strength is yourself. Delia was a strong women and that everything that she worked so hard and sweated over was for herself.