Summary report of Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston

Decent Essays
Summary Report: Sweat
Vital Statistics
Author: Zora Neale Hurston
Title: Sweat
Published date: 1926

Main Characters
Delia: A hard working, washerwoman and wife that is abused by her husband. She is portrayed as the protagonist.
Sykes: A lazy, stay-at-home husband who is abusive to his wife and has a mistress name Bertha. He is portrayed as the antagonist.

Point of View
The story is written in a third person omniscient point of view.

Setting of Action
The story took place in a small town in central Florida near Orlando. The events took place in the spring and snakes are known to be prevalent in the area during that time.

Plot Summary Sweat tells a short story about a black, washerwoman, Delia that lives in Florida
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You know it would skeer me--looks just like a snake, an ' you knows how skeered Ah is of snakes." The characters’ personalities shown through so rapidly that it helped show us how their relationship was developing. Hurston also had long passages of narration mixed in with dialogues that made a relationship based on pain. For instance, “She lay awake, gazing upon the debris that cluttered their matrimonial trail. Not an image left standing along the way. Anything like flowers had long ago been drowned in the salty stream that had been pressed from her heart. Her tears, her sweat, her blood.” Once again, the choice of narrator makes the story much more believable and Delia’s situation more extreme which is why it created the sympathetic tone to this story. A combination of what Delia feels and what Sykes does to her leads the reader to feel sympathetically towards her. For example, this happens here with Bertha, the mistress, "Too late now to hope for love, even if it were not Bertha it would be someone else". The things that happens to Delia seems truthful and relatable in real life which makes readers react a certain way to the story. Lastly, the multiple-perspective approach caught my eyes because Hurston did not just tell the story from Delia and Sykes’ perspectives, but also the townspeople’s perspectives to further show us their
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