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zora neal hurston

From a young age, children are taught that hard work will lead to success. It is also enforced in them that they can be whatever they want to be, as long as they are persistent. Unfortunately, this advice does not always pan out in day-to-day living. First of all, many people are not working because they are looking for success or fortune. People have to work because they need to make money so that they may have such amenities as food, clothing and shelter. Also, for some people, work provides them with a purpose in their lives. Second of all, in the real world, hard work, humbleness, and a cheery smile only lead to great success in Disney channel movies. There is always an adversary trying to hold you back, be it “the man” the government, or even a “loved” one. This sad circumstance is what we find in the short story “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston. However, as in the Disney movies, sometimes the underdog wins. Hurston’s story serves as an exception that proves the rule of male domination. Therefore, “Sweat” is a tale of one woman’s final triumph over the oppressing patriarchal society that she is forced to live in. The main character, Delia Jones, works her fingers to the bone for the sake of herself and her husband, Sykes. Sykes basically lounges around and messes up the good that Delia is trying to do. At the start of the story, Delia is sorting laundry in order to have a head start on next week’s work. Sykes sneaks inside and tosses his bullwhip at her. Delia is paralyzed with fright because she thinks that it is a snake. At this point in the story, the reader sees how man is pro-active, and woman is reactive. Sykes is bullying Delia and her only defense is to get back to her workin’ and sweatin’. After this interaction, Sykes yells at her for working on Sunday. He is particularly irritated because she is working for “white folk.” When she rebukes him for his rude be...

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zora neal hurston. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 08:05, August 21, 2014, from