Gender Inequality In Zora Neal Hurston's Sweat

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Gender inequality is an issue that has plagued women for centuries. Even in modern times, women must continually battle for rights that they so naturally deserve. Through the years writers have come along and eloquently expressed, through literature, their thoughts and opinions on such social issues as gender inequality. These authors have shared stories and experiences through their works which have made it possible to help others to understand such societal problems. Zora Neal Hurston does this beautifully with her short story “Sweat”. Her story sheds light on the oppression of women in an African American culture and the strength and perseverance of one woman's struggle towards independence. "Sweat" tells the tale of a black woman named…show more content…
Delia has an extreme fear of snakes and this pushes her over the edge in her hatred towards her husband. She stands up to him and tells him how much she detests him. Sykes cannot believe what he is hearing and counters back. It is beginning to dawn on him that she is losing her fear of him and his oppression over her. At the end of the story, Sykes intends to harm Delia by placing the snake in the clothes hamper where Delia works from. In a twist of fate, the very snake that he intends to bite Delia, bites him instead. As he crawls toward her, swollen in pain and dying, he is desperate for help. In a final act of freedom and independence, Delia walks away, unable and unwilling to help her abuser. Zora Neal Hurston wrote during a time when gender inequality was strongly present in society. She was an effective author that shed light on a deep social issue that is still relevant today. Throughout her short story "Sweat", Hurston acknowledges the hard work and sweat it has taken women over the years to survive in a culture that has not really acknowledged them as it should. She brings light to the even deeper oppression African American women have had to bear and gives hope to a future of hope and independence
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