The short story, “The Gilded Six-Bits” by Zora Neale Hurston revolves around a young African-American couple living the early 20th century. Missie May and Joe, encounter a bigshot named Otis D. Slemmons who leads them to suffering with trust, greed, and appearance versus reality. The characters exhibit lessons that tie in to the irony of the short stories.
The Harlem Renaissance marked the coming out of many brilliant black authors and thinkers. Names like Jessie Redmon Fauset, Alain Locke, Ralph Waldo Ellison, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston marked the scene. Hurton portrays many messages in her stories without having to explicitly spell it out. This among other reasons make Hurston's writing so rich. Two of her almost fable-like stories, "Sweat" and "The Gilded Six-Bits", each portray powerful messages individually. In "Sweat," you get a message of "whatever goes over the Devil's back, is got to come under his belly." You will reap what you sow among other messages. In "The Gilded Six-Bits," you learn that time will heal, money is the root of all evil, and other morals. These
Zora Neale Hurston, known as one of the most symbolic African American women during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930’s. Hurston was known as a non fiction writer, anthropologist and folklorist. Hurston’s literature has served as a big eye opener during the Harlem Renaissance, celebrating black dialect and their traditions. Most of her published stories “depict relationships among black residents in her native southern Florida, was largely unconcerned with racial injustices” (Bomarito 89). Hurston was unique when it came to her racial point of views, promoting white racism instead of black racism. Even though her works had been forgotten by the time of her death, now her literature has left a bigger impact to future literature
Zora Neale Hurston’s use of language in her short story Spunk allows the reader to become part of the community in which this story takes place. The story is told from the point of view of the characters, and Hurston writes the dialogue in their broken English dialect. Although the language is somewhat difficult to understand initially, it adds to the mystique of the story. Spunk is a story about a man that steals another man’s wife, kills the woman’s husband and then he ends up dying from an accident at the saw mill. Spunk believed that it was Lena’s husband, Joe Kanty, who shoved him into the circular saw, and the people in the village agreed that Joe Kanty had come back to get revenge. The language used by the characters helps to
She uses idealistic examples and real world situations to get the best realistic interpretation on the matter of the harlem renaissance. This novel also is a great way to learn and understand the importance of women's roles and rights during the harlem renaissance era for the black/african american women. All in all, Hurston’s depiction of the harlem renaissance reflects and departs the major topics and does so
In Claire Crabtree’s journal article, “The Confluence of Folklore, Feminism and Black Self-Determination in Zora Neal Hurston’s ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’”, it addresses the large role that folklore plays regarding Janie’s growth as a character. Moreover, it states how the influence of Folklore culture shaped Janie’s experiences as a Black woman in the South. Initially, Crabtree described the integration of folk material and how it developed Janie’s journey of identity. Folklore culture affected Janie’s perception in relationships, career aspirations, and her limited role as a woman. Nevertheless, Crabtree explains how folklore is merged to the themes of feminism and Black self-determination. Moreover, she discusses how the style of narration and the novel’s unique storytelling frame amplifies the authentic aspect of the text. She
Taking place in the 1920’s, Harlem Renaissance was a period of time where cultural, social, and artistic expansion took place in the American society. Hurston’s uniqueness led her to write about the problems of individuals, particularly white ones and black ones. In her own words, she stated, “Many Negroes criticise my book, because I did not make it a lecture on the race problem. I have ceased to think in terms of race; I think only in terms of individuals. I am interested in you now, not as a Negro man but as a man” (“Although her reputation”). In addition, Hurston portrayed the lives of black people as constantly miserable, downtrodden and deprived. For instance, in Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, the main character, Janie Crawford, finds her second husband, Joe Starks, only to mislead her life. Janie figures out that she once again lacks the love she had longed for. Joe considered Janie to be his possession. He expected Janie to be a well-behaved wife, who would not speak up for herself or disobey him. He additionally expected her to follow every order he had for her, such as forbidding her to interact and play checkers with people (“The most prevalent”). During this time, men were showing off their masculinity by ordering their wives around and ruling over them. However, Janie refused to accept herself to be oppressed, rather “outspoken and headstrong” (Zora Neale Hurston’s). Hurston is trying to portray that women should have the courage to speak up for
Zora Neale Hurston's aim in The Gilded Six-Bits is to counter the lingering; glad; darky generalization by which African Americans was respected in her time. In particular, she refutes the plainly condescending attitude of the white store clerk toward the end of the story who needs to be similar to the African Americans, obviously effortless and continually laughing. Such a recognition is rendered silly and crazy by Hurston's story of the inside turmoil brought on by a demonstration of conjugal disloyalty and the unprecedented efforts of Joe and Missie May to revive their love and recovery their marriage.
In the opening sentence of the story Hurston’s writes, “It was eleven o’clock of a Spring night in Florida. It was Sunday” (Hurston, 73). The beginning signifies correct English grammar and proper sentence structure, but in seamless Zora Neale Hurston’s fashion, the dialogue from the protagonist Delia Jones reads in broken incorrect syntax, “Sykes, you quit grindin’ dirt into these clothes! How can Ah git through by Sat’day if Ah don’t start on Sunday” (74)? In her short stories Hurston’s diction is elevated with the usage of morphology with the constant exchange of word formation with infixes, affixes and the combining of word choices. Hurston’s choice of diction offered a rhymical affect that adds a melodious tone to her writing shaped by the Harlem Renaissance period. As noted in the, The Florida Historical Quarterly “Hurston blended narrator and protagonist through language” (Haskin, 207) Her writing style aid in the management of mood, tone, character depiction, movement, and atmosphere in storytelling procedures. In the commencement of her stories, the storyteller, is communicating in standard English, the third-party narrative speaks as a representative for the character waiting to find his or her voice. As the character(s) discoveries their voice, they sway the narrator, and in the conclusion the narrator and central character are speaking for each other, using equally poetic, participating language (207).
Zora Neale Hurston breathes life into “Spunk” by contrasting African American slang with the formal, educated tone of the narrator to emphasize adversity and express culture in the South. Hurston’s most memorable moments in her childhood were a result of “Skillful story-tellers [that] could hold their listeners spellbound for hours, with tales that combined elements of African tradition, the history of slavery, and current events,” (Bily). Oral storytelling was a news source and form of entertainment for those living in poverty. In “Spunk,” it is evident that Hurston’s goal is to combine the setting she grew up in with her fondness for written literature when Elijah Mosley cries, “‘Looka theah, folkses!’… slapping his leg gleefully.
In “The Gilded Six-Bits,” Zora Neale Hurston uses several techniques to characterize Joe and Missy May, the main couple throughout the story. Hurston uses her own life experiences to characterize Joe and Missy May and their marriage. She also shows their character development through her writing styles and techniques, which show reactions and responses between Joe and Missy May to strengthen the development of their relationship. Hurston supports her character development through her writing style, her characters dialect, and includes experiences from her own life to portray a sense of reality to her character’s personalities.
Appearance versus Reality in Alice Walker's and Zora Neale Hurston's Everyday Use and The Gilded Six-Bits
In the short story “Drenched in Light” by Zora Neale Hurston, the author appeals to a broad audience by disguising ethnology and an underlying theme of gender, race, and oppression with an ambiguous tale of a young black girl and the appreciation she receives from white people. Often writing to a double audience, Hurston had a keen ability to appeal to white and black readers in a clever way. “[Hurston] knew her white folks well and performed her minstrel shows tongue in cheek” (Meisenhelder 2). Originally published in The Opportunity in 1924, “Drenched in Light” was Hurston’s first story to a national audience.
Coins, quilts and a creek, what could these three things possibly have in common? They are all symbols of love, freedom, family and legacy. In “The Gilded Six Bits” by Zora Neale Hurston the coins represent Joe and Missie Mae’s relationship. In “Women Hollering Creek” by Sandra Cisneros the creek represents a bridge to the past and the future for Cleofilas. In “Use” by Alice Walker the quilts represent family legacy and what happens when families disagree about that legacy.
Zora Neale Hurston, author of the Gilded Six Bits, has a very unique writing style. The artistry in her story makes it a pleasant, easy read for any audience. The title suggests the story is based around money; but rather if one were to dig deeper the reality of the story is being told around the playfulness of money. Character disposition, an idealistic dialect, and the ability to work past an issue all work together to prove that Joe and Missie May’s lives are not strictly revolved around money.