Feminism In Zora Neale Hurston's Sweat

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The short story Sweat written by Zora Neale Hurston takes places in Florida in the 1920s about the marriage of a black couple named Delia Jones and Sykes and how she is trapped in this marriage and is constantly being abused by her husband and uses her fears to his advantage to effect their relationship. There are many themes throughout this short story but the main one that stood out was the strong feminism. Feminism is portrayed in Sweat by the main character Delia Jones which is the breadwinner in the relationship and works as a washwoman and is stuck in a toxic marriage and has to provide for her insecure husband Sykes. Just like how Delia is not privileged due to her race and her gender in Sweat, African American women are also by the same reasons, since slavery they have struggled individually and in groups to overcome the multiple injustices that they and their communities face. The term Black feminism was not a widely used term until the Black women 's movement in the 1970s. It is used to characterize Black women’s courage during the terrible conditions of slavery. In Sweat Delia is constantly being put down by her husband because she works as a washwoman cleaning whites clothes. A quote to support this is when Sykes…show more content…
The reason behind why Syke is so abusive mentally and physically towards Delia is because she is the breadwinner of the marriage, she basically does everything that the man of the house should be doing. Which causes him to be insecure because he feels threatened that Delia is the hardworking one and bringing in all the income. A quote that would support all this is “You sho is one aggravatin ' n- woman! (8). He says which doesn 't make sense because she clothes him and feeds him and has to say and do all these things so he can feel masculine and that he’s the man of the house. In the article stated earlier the author mentions that “ Hurston had to simultaneously deconstruct stereotypical notions of domesticity as safe and natural,
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