Sweat By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

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Zora Neale Hurston wrote “Sweat” during the Harlem Renaissance. A time when writers, artists, and musicians were exploring and greatly influenced by the events taking place in their social and cultural environments. There is plenty that can be taken away from the story. Hurston use of symbolism with sweat, laundry, and a snake give so much more meaning to the story. The title itself is the first apparent form of symbolism: Sweat. Sweat can represent a few different things in the short story. First take, can be seen as literal besides the setting during the hot summers of Florida. “cause Delia works so hard ovah dat washtub she reckon everything on de place taste lak sweat an’ soapsuds.” (Hurston 107) Delia is a hard worker and from the conversation of others and her actions, her strong work ethic stands out. “Mah…show more content…
“She saw that Sykes had kicked all of the clothing together again, and now stood in her way truculently, his whole manner hoping, praying, for an argument. But she walked calmly around him and commenced to re-sort the things.” (Hurston 104) This is how the marriage goes, Sykes purposely does things to make it hard for Delia. He goes out his way to pull pranks and make her mad. “He stepped roughly upon the whitest pile of things, kicking them helter-skelter as he corssed the room.” (Hurston 104) The laundry here represents their relationship. Delia pure as the whitest laundry and Sykes stepping all on her with his abuse. The dirt he grinds in the laundry represents the dirt he makes in the marriage, cheating on his wife. After Sykes left, Delia “…lay awake, gazing upon the debris that cluttered their matrimonial trail.” Her piles of laundry left destroyed for her to look out, just like later on she will have to look at her husband in town on a date with another woman. (Hurston
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