Literary Analysis of “Sweat” and “Sonny’s Blues”
ENG125: Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Deborah Zeringue
December 22, 2014
As living and breathing human beings people are bound to experience some type of conflict. Conflict can be present within a person, between two people, between a person and forces of nature, and even between a person and their society. Conflict is defined as the struggle that shapes the plot in a story (Clugston, 2014, ch.4sect.1 para.4). When reading a piece of literature, especially a short story, one should pay special attention to the central conflict because it is the key element of the story (Clugston, 2014). This essay will analyze “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin and “Sweat” by…show more content… The ice helps the reader to be able to connect with the inner feelings of the narrator’s inner conflict with himself.
While reading the short story “Sweat” it is very clear that the author uses irony, symbolism, and figurative language to help with the shaping of the story. The symbolism that is apparent in this story is the snake. Delia is terrified of snakes and her husband Sykes loves to tease her about her fear of snakes (Hurston, 1926). In the beginning of the story, while Delia is sorting clothes Sykes throws his big bull whip on her and she is terrified until she notices what it is (Hurston, 1926). Irony is shown in the story because even though Sykes brings the rattlesnake home to scare Delia off, it ends up killing him in the end (Hurston, 1926). The reader can also see the literary element of figurative language being used when Delia gets fed up with Sykes having the rattlesnake at their house and she begins to let him know how fed up she is of him: “Yo’ ole black hide don’t look lak nothin’ tuh me, but uh passle uh wrinkled up rubber, wid yo’ big ole yeahs flappin’ on each side lak uh paih uh buzzard wings (Hurston, 1926, para.49). Although the above example may be hard to read, it is a great example of similes being used in this short story.
When reading both “Sonny’s Blues” and “Sweat”, it is apparent that the protagonists in each short story are dealing with a struggle of some sort. At the beginning of “Sonny’s