Zora Neale Hurston's Sweat

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The short story Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston was written in 1926 and is one of her most well-known short stories. An anomaly among the many short stories read in the course thus far, I was pleased to read a piece of women’s literature that focused on the experience of being black and a woman. This point of view gives a fresh look into the lives of an often sidelined group of women and I really enjoyed reading and analyzing a story that was written by a black women about a black women, which incorporated some of my favorite themes such as marriage and religion. Additionally, it was a short story that stayed with me even after having finished reading it because of its unique storyline and satisfying ending. Quite a few of the stories I’ve read…show more content…
As stated before, Sykes is abusive and takes pride in hurting Delia. Furthermore, he brings a poisonous snake home in order to frighten her. Sykes uses the snake to fulfill his desire to control Delia through any way possible. By bringing the snake home, he gains the upper hand in the household and feels masculine, which is perhaps something he doesn’t often feels he has to prove to himself, due to the fact that he doesn’t work or contribute to the household in any way. The snake is evil, much like Sykes and creates havoc in the household. In the end, the evil snake is the thing that ends up killing Sykes, much to the shock of the readers. My interpretation was that the snake was used as a symbol of the evilness of Sykes and how in the end, it came back to literally bite him, which resulted in his demise.
In conclusion, Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston what I consider to be the greatest work of short fiction I’ve read so far. I praise it for bringing up issues that black women specifically had to bear in that time period, such as working day and day out to survive and serve upper-class white folks in society. Furthermore, it raises interesting debate questions such as if it was right to let Sykes die. In addition, I love it for its symbols and the fact that despite it not being how I expected, the protagonist Delia will be able to thrive and continue her life without the poisonous snake that is Sykes
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