Comparing Story Of An Hour And Sweat By Zora Neale Hurston

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Louise and Delia
What do most women want in a marriage? Is it hatred and an unfaithful husband? No! Women expect to have a husband who loves and cares for them. Someone who will cherish them for all eternity. In a close examination of the way Louise Mallard, the protagonist of “The Story of an Hour”, and Delia, the protagonist of “Sweat”, react to their encounters with their marriages demonstrates that authors Kate Chopin and Zora Neale Hurston both use short stories to tell similar stories about the difficulties of their emotional states in their marriages.
First, it is seen that Louise Mallard is an unchanging character who values her freedom from her marriage. Throughout the story it becomes obvious how self-centered Louise Mallard is. “’Free!
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While reading, it becomes evident that Delia is a good person. Not only is she good, but she holds strong to her religion. She is always putting others needs before her own. Delia does not only work to support herself, but works to support her husband and his mistress. “’Mah tub of suds is filled yo’ belly with vittles more times than yo’ hands is filled it’” (Hurston 531). She is telling Sykes that it is because of all her hard work that he has food to eat. She is the one who has to “’Work and sweat, cry and sweat, pray and sweat!’”(Hurston 531), not him. She does not let Sykes get the best of her, she is not vengeful. She says, “Sykes, like everybody else, is gointer reap his sowing’” (Hurston 532). She believes in karma, that whatever Sykes does will come back around to him. She is good and believes that in time good things will come to her. Also it is clearly seen in the story how dynamic Delia’s character is. In the beginning, Delia is scared of Sykes and is too afraid to stand up to him. While trying to do her work Sykes is fussing at her but rather stand up to him, the story states that, “Delia never looked up from her work, and her thin, stooped shoulders sagged further” (Hurston 530). This shows that she is afraid of what he might do should she try to stand up for herself. As the story goes on, Delia begins to change and become braver when it comes to dealing with Sykes. Hurston writes, “Delia’s habitual meekness seemed to slip from her shoulders like a blown scarf” (531). She was no longer afraid of Sykes or what he might do to her. From that point on Delia was a changed women. One night Delia even had the courage to tell Sykes, “’Ah hates you, Sykes’” (Hurston 535). This came as such a surprise to him that he had trouble trying to come up with something harsh to say back to her. Delia was a changing women and Sykes could not handle it. As for Delia’s marriage, it was
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