Appearance Vs. Reality In The Six Gilded Bits By Zora Neale Hurston

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The Six Gilded Bits, which is a short story written by Zora Neale Hurston, is a tale about marriage, betrayal, and forgiveness. The short takes place in the early 1930’s in Eatonville, Florida, which is a small African-American town. The tale takes the reader on a wild journey of love, yearning, anger, disappointment, compromise, and acceptance. However, the story is composed of many layers that leave the reader questioning certain aspects within the story.
Although there are many themes that are present in the short story, appearance versus reality is an important theme. Hurston uses appearance vs. reality to convey to the reader that everything isn’t always as straightforward and simple as their appearances look. Since Joe admired Mr. Slemmons, he believed Mr. Slemmons was a rich man that worked hard for all of the things that he possessed. While speaking to his wife in the story Joe explained, “Yeah, he’s up to date. He got the finest clothes Ah ever seen on a colored man’s back.” (Pg.945) However, later on in the story the reader realizes that Mr. Slemmons was just a bogus man that bragged about his money and possessions which were fake; he had Joe and the others in town under the impression that he had a ton of money, jewelry, and women. Also, towards the end of the story when Joe goes into the candy store to buy Missie May some candy kisses, he puts on this act with the store clerk as if he knew that Mr. Slemmons was bogus all along but in reality, he didn’t know

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