Historical criticism strives to cognize a literary work by examining the social, cultural, and intellectual context that essentially includes the artist’s biography and milieu. Historical critics are more concerned with guiding readers through the use of identical connotation rather than analyzing the work’s literary significance. (Brizee and Tompkins). The journey of a historical reading begins with the assessment of how the meaning of a text has altered over time. In many cases, when the historical context of a text is not fully comprehended, the work literature cannot be accurately interpreted. For example, three literary works that entail the reader to better understanding the historical context are: “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston, “London” …show more content…
During this rough time period, segregation was common and prohibition was recently introduced. Along with this, many other social and political issues played a role in Hurston's "Sweat." Consequently, a historical background of the early twentieth century would be ideal in order for the reader to better comprehend and appreciate the work thoroughly. In this story, Hurston writes about Delia and Syke's work lives. In the early 1900's, approximately sixty percent of African American woman and about twenty percent of men were employed (Mclaughlin).During this time period, men felt that they were vastly superior over women. As a consequence, men did not want to see women working or earning more than them. In the story, although Syke did not work and he lived through Delia's wage, he did not approve of Delia financially supporting the both of them. The racism experienced by African American's was a large factor in the inspiration for most of Hurston's writings. The majority of jobs held by African American women were domestic based jobs for white people. Similar to Syke, this fact upset many husbands (Seidel). Syke displays his hatred towards Delia's career by stomping over the clothes she is washing. He directly demonstrates his discontentedness that he has with the white race and Delia's job: "Ah done tole you time and again to keep them white folks' clothes outa dis house” (Hurston). Without having proper historical …show more content…
Considering the fact that this poem was written during World War II, the varied interpretations of this poem are many. Because the medical knowledge in the twentieth century was minuscule as compared to the medical knowledge and advancements that we have today, women were not advised to have children (Lambert). In the poem, Kees notes on how he does not desire to have a daughter because of the poor living conditions at the time. It is safe to assume that Weldon Kees did not foresee a hopeful future for the world. With World War II in action and the Great Depression ending shortly before, hope was a difficult thing to foresee. Food, clothing, and gas were highly rationed and women were expected to take part in labor intensive jobs such as welders and electricians. (AMERICA GOES TO WAR). Keen was most likely afraid of the difficult life that his son or daughter would have to face. His writings focus around themes of sadness and loss of hope due to the social and political changes occurring throughout his
Throughout the text, Hurston infers that she's optimistic about being colored. “How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company”(67)? Hurston writes that she feels discriminated against but also feels how could anyone not want to be in her presence therefor She feels optimistic about the future. Hurston recalls that “Slavery is sixty years in the past” (65).
Name: Lakisha Minnis Instructor: Mr. Compton English 2202-001 Date: April. 24, 2017 Sweat Zora Neale Hurston is a prolific writer famed for numerous award winning plays, novels and short stories. In this paper, I will be elaborating on a character from the novel Sweat. Her novel Sweat was first published in 1926. Sweat is a novel that tells a story about the good, evil, and domestic abusive husband.
Miss Tushabe presented us with statistics that helped us understand the racial climate of the time. For example, she showed us that in 1920, only 3% of the African American population in the United States lived in the North, while the vast majority lived in the South. This helped us understand the challenges and experiences of Hurston as a Black woman in the South during this period. Also, Miss Tushabe used quotations from the text to help us understand Hurston's message.
The Harlem Renaissance was an era when African- Americans brought their talents to Harlem at the end of World War I (Wormser). Out of that era, it brought authors, poets, and scholars (Wormser). Zora Neil Hurston came out of this era and became a well-known author. The Sweat is one of her well-known stories that demonstrated literary realism to show their everyday life and how they would talk unlike romanticism that used nature and “imagination” (The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica). The Sweat can be considered as a literary cannon which means a book that has been approved by culture ("A Literary Canon?") and that’s what Zora did.
She grew up in an “exclusively colored town” where she was surrounded by other individuals who shared many aspects of her identity -- though most importantly, their skin colors. She notes that “the only white people [she] knew passed through the town”. White people did not stay long enough to make her realize that she was drastically different from a larger part of the world. Because of this regularity of passer-byers, “white people never differed from colored to [Hurston] only in that they rode through town and never lived there”. She never felt her pride in her personal identity as a colored woman was challenged by her childhood.
Before I began reading, I tried guessing what the story was about. Only knowing that the title was “Sweat”, I thought the story might be about sports or hard labor. Then I opened up the story and the first thing I noticed was that the author’s name was Zora Hurston. I only found out that the author was female once I saw “her” in the section below describing her life and writing career. I found out other important things such as she lived in Florida, she wrote during the Harlem Renaissance (1920s), she died impoverished, and her work was eventually found by the women’s movement.
Racism can be defined as prejudice, discrimination, or contributions to a system that perpetuates the idea that one race is inferior to another. Racism was heavily enforced throughout American history, specifically in the early 1900’s. Coincidentally, this was the same time feminists, or women’s-rights activists, were in the in the midst of their fight for equality. Feminism is the theory that women should be treated equally to men in terms of social, political, and economic matters. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston uses the protagonist, Janie, to convey both concepts through her journey to self-love and acceptance.
Hurston’s autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road marks the popularity of her career as a writer in the Harlem Renaissance. It is an autobiography intertwined with reality, mystery, imagination, creation, humor and wisdom, celebrating Hurston’s struggle from an isolated southern child to a recognized black female writer. It is an autobiography contains a controversial work evoking both recognition and discrete criticism. Starting with the history of Eatonville, the founding of the pure Negro town, Hurston in Dust Tracks locates herself as a carefree black girl in a harmless place immune from threats of the racial segregation, then delineates her life as a wander after her mother’s death. Aside from her journey in life, the alienation of the narrator
Zora Hurston uses vivid imagery, natural diction, and several literary tools in her essay “How It Feels to Be Colored Me”. Hurston’s use of imagery, diction, and literary tools in “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” contributes to, and also compliments, the essay’s theme which is her view on life as a “colored” person. Throughout “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” Hurston carefully incorporates aspects of her African American culture in an effort to recapture her ancestral past. Hurston’s use of imagery, diction, and use of literary tools shape her essay into a piece of Harlem Renaissance work. Imagery in “How It Feels to Be Colored Me” is quite abundant.
In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, we follow our protagonist, Janie, through a journey of self-discovery. We watch Janie from when she was a child to her adulthood, slowly watching her ideals change while other dreams of hers unfortunately die. This is shown when Jane first formulates her idea of love, marriage, and intimacy by comparing it to a pear tree; erotic, beautiful, and full of life. After Janie gets married to her first spouse, Logan Killicks, she doesn’t see her love fantasy happening, but she waits because her Nanny tells her that love comes after marriage. Janie, thinking that Nanny is wise beyond her years, decides to wait.
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.
Hurston tells the story of Janie, a black woman who because of her grandmother experiences and beliefs was forced to marry into a loveless marriage with Logan Killicks, a hard-working farmer who had 60 acres of land and could provide for Janie. This marriage ended when Janie ran away with Joe Stark, a man that she fell in love with and thought could give her the love absent between her and Logan. But Janie soon realized that her second marriage wouldn’t turn out better than her first. Joe was just as controlling and degrading as Logan. He hardly expressed his love for Janie and spoke to her like an incompetent child.
In "Sweat," the main character, Delia Jones, is portrayed as a strong-willed, hard-working washwoman who would wash clothes for white people. She worked tireless to provide for her family. Delia was married to Sykes, who would berate, beat and mentally abuse Delia, incessantly. For example, Sykes would walk into the room where Delia just folded clothing for the white people and find the whitest pile of clothes, stomp all over them and then kick them across the room, leaving her to clean up and restack them. Sykes was also openly living in infidelity with another woman, named Bertha.
“Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurtson exemplifies the amount of disrespect and domestic abuse a woman can handle. It also demonstrated how some males view women in a distasteful and unsatisfied way. Gender and sexuality can initiate most of the specific tactics of domestic violence that can dehumanize an individual, especially women. Zora Neale Hurtson’s character, Delia Jones, demonstrates how women can transition from being inferior to becoming superior in a domestic relationship. The story opened with Delia washing clothes for white people on Sunday, and Sykes verbally abused her for dishonoring God because she was washing clothes that belong to white people on the Sabbath day.
In Zora Neal Hudson’s short story “Sweat”, “Don 't think Ah 'm gointuh be run 'way fum mah house neither. Ah 'm goin ' tuh de white folks bout you, mah young man, de very nex ' time you lay yo ' han 's on me. Mah cup is done run ovah." Delia said this with no signs of fear”. What Delia did right there is right.