Sweat By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

1705 Words7 Pages
In her short story “Sweat”, Zora Neale Hurston details the troubled lives of a married African American couple in the deep south. Born and raised in Florida herself, Huston had an excellent perspective on the culture of that time and area. She no doubt saw the situations and heard the strong dialect that she presents in the short story, in which Sykes constantly beats and demeans his wife Delia, who keeps her retorts minimal as to not provoke him further. Sykes is openly dating another woman, yet Delia takes no action, instead focusing on her work and religion. Delia retains her indifference when Sykes is in a dire situation, allowing him to suffer just as she had. Though her actions may seem justified, they present a major irony when considering her devoutness to religion. Delia’s refusal to modify her calm lifestyle despite Sykes’s constant torment reflects her cultural and religious backgrounds and is influenced by Hurston’s own experiences. The culture that Zora Neale Hurston grew up around gave her insight into the setting and culture that “Sweat” explores. Born in Eatonville, Florida, Hurston “remembered Eatonville as a place of great peace and happiness” (Hemenway 10), though she was not oblivious to the difficulties surrounding them. In fact, she embraced her place as an African American woman; Hurston was quoted as saying that she was “not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes” (Hemenway 11). Hurston

More about Sweat By Zora Neale Hurston Essay

Get Access