Roles Of Women In Sweat And Their Eyes Were Watching God By Hurston

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Evan Wheeler
Ms. Gommermann
Honors English 10
3 March 2023

Role of Women in Different Works
In both her short story, “Sweat,” and book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston brings forth the convention that black women are abused by their husbands; however, she highlights the different ways that the women in each story stand up for themselves. In the short story, “Sweat,” Delia defends herself from the beginning. Conversely, in Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie hesitates to assert herself until midway through the book. The outcomes of these women standing up for themselves are very similar, but the timing in which they do so are very different. Hurston establishes these contrasting examples to illustrate the theme that when one stands up for …show more content…

When Syke begins disrespecting her by kicking her laundry with his dirty boots, she fights back , “seiz[ing] the iron skillet from the stove and [striking] a defensive pose, which act surprised him greatly, coming from her. It cowed him and he did not strike her as he usually did” (2). Her audacity defied the social standards of the time period: black women had no power over their husbands. Hurston challenges this social norm by creating a character that withstands gender roles and traditional power dynamics. By “[seizing] the iron skillet” and “[striking] a defensive pose” she proves to her abusive husband that she is not afraid of him or his threats. The result of this act of defense is incredible. Sykes is so surprised at Delia’s lack of submission that “he sidled out of the door and slammed the back gate after him” (2). Delia is so surprised about this that she can’t fall asleep right away and thinks “things had come to a pretty pass!” (2). The behavior expected by this social norm was so blindly accepted that she didn’t even think standing up for herself would work and was so pleasantly surprised when it did. This proves the claim that when

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