Good Vs Evil In Sweat

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Good vs. Evil in “Sweat”
Humanity constantly battles between good and evil forces. Evil presents itself in any human circumstance, spreading its influence and inflicting suffering. Karma is, in simple definition, one's fate in accordance with their actions. Following the concept of karma, those who are unwaveringly virtuous are rewarded honor while the immoral corrupt must bear their repercussions. In the short story “Sweat,” the main character, Delia, is tormented by her husband Sykes. “Sweat” explores evil in the form of domestic abuse, misogyny, and Black struggles and oppression. Delia, who epitomizes a victim of these social issues, begins to transform her character and retaliates after enduring several acts of abuse, ultimately leading …show more content…

The title "Sweat" is clearly expressive of Delia's intensive work but also references Sykes and Delia to the “original couple cast out of Paradise'' where Delia is similarly facing the “Biblical curse of labor” (Fetrow). In the story of Adam and Eve, Eve was persuaded by Satan and the serpent, resulting in the couple "co-conspiring" in rebelling (Fetrow). As the story is retold, Delia is instead a target of "male obstinacy," the aggressor being Sykes, an evil inflicting the "suffering of mankind" (Fetrow). When forced into a harsh environment similar to Adam and Eve, Delia and Sykes face it in polar opposite ways. Hurston emphasizes that while Delia accepts the cruel nature of the world and works hard for the sake of self-preservation, Sykes adds weight to Delia's workload and denies responsibility for himself or his wife. Hurston “reshapes the original 'fall-of-man” story by presenting Sykes as an evil male being who carries the legacy of corruption on earth and amplifies the existing struggles of women (Fetrow). Sykes introduces the corrosive and destructive nature of evil in man, the struggle between said evil and Delia's innocent nature exemplifies the existence of the famous conflict between God and Satan in humanity. Sykes insults Delia’s appearance and says “You looks jes' lack de devvuls doll baby tuh me,'' despite his characters' …show more content…

The dialogue is written in Black vernacular; Hurston writes the words as they are said. Hurston first introduces the Floridian Harlem Renaissance accent of the characters in sweat with a conflict between Delia and Sykes. Delias first words include "dat,” “skeer,” and “Ah" (Hurston). Through this dialect, the reader can better understand the setting and experiences of the characters. In fact, ninety percent of laundry workers in the South during this period were African American women (“Sweat”). Therefore, Delia's occupation as a laundress and her accent was prevalent in the historical context of "Sweat" (“Sweat”). Sykes calls Delia a hypocrite saying she’s an “amen-corner Christian” who “[washes] white folks clothes on the Sabbath” (Hurston). Hurston also conveys the perspective of Sykes, a Christian Black man suffering from oppression that manifests into violence. His lack of belonging within the Black male community and discrimination from whites creates an insecurity that projects onto Delia, the only person seen as below him in the social ladder. Through dialogue which provides context in setting, Hurston explains the dynamic of a dysfunctional Black marriage and the presence of male dominance and female submission. Hurston's portrayal of "marriage, masculinity, and malicious menfolk" evokes questions on how Black women

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