The Gilded Six-Bits by Zora Neale Hurston Essay

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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. Zora Neale Hurston has been married and divorced twice, which assisted her in developing Joe and Missy…show more content…
Hurston opens the story with Missy anxiously awaiting Joe’s return home from work. Upon his arrival, they have flirtatious play fights and wrestle in “a furious mass of male and female energy”. Joe always placed candy kisses home to Missy May for her to discover in his pockets during a frantic, yet playful search. Throughout “The Gilded Six-Bits” Joe and Missy May continually refer to each other as “sugar,” “honey”, and other endearing names. After Missy May has exposed her infidelity to Joe she realizes that “with this strange man in her bed, she felt embarrassed to get up and dress…” Joe calmly reply’s “Missy May you cry too much. Don’t look back like Lot’s wife and turn to salt.” Joe does not want his wife to concentrate on the past; he aspires to keep all focus on the future with his wife. This character trait, which Joe shows, can either portray his maturity of moving forward – or it portrays his immaturity trying to ignore the past. Joe and Missy may have an excellent marriage set on a solid foundation of love, caring, and understanding, yet this incident of infidelity threatened to destroy the relationship that they have built up. Going through this incident shows the realness of their relationship, and how both have grown from this hardship. Zora Neale Hurston depicts the realness of Joe and Missy May through her writing style and by including her life experiences. Hurston
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