Sweat short story summary. Sweat by Lynn Nottage Plot Summary 2022-11-04
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"Sweat" is a short story written by Zora Neale Hurston that was published in 1926. It tells the story of Delia, a washerwoman who works hard to provide for her abusive husband, Sykes. Despite her hard work and devotion to Sykes, he constantly belittles and mistreats her.
One day, Delia discovers that Sykes has been cheating on her with a younger woman and decides to take action. She goes to see a hoodoo man, who gives her a potion that she can use to get rid of Sykes for good. Delia is hesitant to use the potion at first, but eventually decides to go through with it.
On the day that Delia puts the potion into action, Sykes comes home from work in a particularly foul mood. He begins to beat Delia, but she remains calm and collected, knowing that the potion is working on him. As the evening goes on, Sykes becomes increasingly ill and delusional, and eventually collapses on the floor in a fit of sweat. Delia tends to him, making him comfortable and giving him water to drink, but she does not try to stop the potion from completing its work.
In the end, Sykes dies from the potion, and Delia is left alone to ponder the events of the evening. She reflects on the irony of the situation, noting that she had always sweated to make a living for Sykes, and now he has died from sweating himself.
"Sweat" is a powerful story about the struggles of a woman living in a abusive relationship and her eventual decision to take control of her own life. It highlights the strength and resilience of the human spirit and the importance of standing up for oneself.
Sweat Study Guide
Joe Clarke says that if a man isn't decent, then no law can make him so. The slaves eventually gained their freedom when they… Zora Neale Hurston in the Harlem Renaissance From the beginning, Zora Neale Hurston was ahead of her time. Delia devotes her life to making dirty things clean and prides herself on her clean laundry and tidy house. In September 2008, Jason, a man with white supremacist facial tattoos, meets with Evan, his African American parole officer. Stan slams a baseball bat down on the bar and orders Jason to sit, but Jason blocks Oscar from leaving and begins to beat him. Through the conflict Delia Jones faces throughout the short story, she begins to development a stronger, assertive attitude. She sees Sykes's hand grab a window stick and hears dull blows on the wooden floor as he beats the snake to death.
Delia opens the laundry hamper and discovers the rattlesnake inside, among the clothes. For Delia, the pendulum probably began to sway from love to hate when Sykes began to beat her and have affairs with other women. Names like Jessie Redmon Fauset, Alain Locke, Ralph Waldo Ellison, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston marked the scene. She doesn't warn Sykes that the snake is in the house. Sykes's is shocked and leaves.
In April, Cynthia has gotten the promotion to Warehouse Supervisor, and she and her friends celebrate at the bar. They describe Delia as hard-working and ill-treated by Sykes, who does not work to support her and has beaten her so much she is no longer pretty. Although she sought love with Sykes, he has been violent and unfaithful since early in their marriage, spending his money on other women and beating her. Although she realizes it is too late for her marriage to be good, she takes comfort in the house that she has built and made beautiful with flowers and trees. Sykes takes this opportunity to brag about how he caught the snake and knows how to handle it.
Or he could realize that the house is dark and he doesn't have any matches, and he could leave immediately. Then she lifts the lid of the hamper and sees the snake in the basket. Cynthia understands, but she asks Tracey not to make things about race, and she promises to let everyone know if she hears anything about the rumored layoffs. Earlier, the viciousness of the attack made her sick. Although these men live in the same poor black town as Delia, not everyone here has to work quite so hard. Suddenly, something long and black falls over her shoulder. Outside, Delia hears a cry as if from a terrified animal.
When she does, she just about faints with fright. Jason is uncooperative when Evan asks him simple questions about his living situation and employment, and their tense interactions culminate in an argument wherein Jason yells racial slurs at Evan. Sykes says he hates her more than she hates him. Hurston's first successful employment was with the Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company, which offered Hurston travel and reading time Howard 13-16. Love and Hate At the beginning of their marriage, Delia loved Sykes. In the dark, Sykes knocks something off the stove, waking up the snake. Hurton portrays many messages in her stories without having to explicitly spell it out.
Analysis and Summary of “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston
Sykes continues to demonstrate his cruelty and cowardice by fleeing rather than doing anything that might actually resolve the situation. However, she cannot ignore Bertha coming to her house to call for Sykes. After two months of marriage, he began to beat her and soon began sleeping around. De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see. Hurston incorporates both the positive and negative aspects of African American culture into her stories in order to give a true depiction to her audience. They were still thought of as inferior. She mourns the effect that years of hard work and violence have had on her former beauty.
Throughout the story, she uses her spirituality as a defense against Sykes. Ah reckon Ah kin keep. Sykes says he wishes he had a light and instinctively jumps on the bed. She saw her darker skin as a privilege in the long run and viewed color as nothing more than a shade our eyes pick up. However, the girl may sometimes lack a mother figure, and may look to another: father, brother, sister, and if alive, grandmother. This short story, similar to others, shows the characters growth throughout the story with narration, diction, imagery, and language. In my opinion, they have every right to be afraid of African American women.
Delia's Tenacity in the Short Story "Sweat" by Hurston
Instead she saw simply what is and exists. . Janie Mae Crawford and Nanny share a complex relationship as her mother figure disappears and it is left to Nanny to nurture the protagonist, influencing many of her choices in the near future. However, despite her hatred, Delia is still a good, Christian woman. She sees Sykes break up the box that held the snake, thereby showing that he planted the snake in the house to kill Delia.
She also discusses how she escapes the prejudiceness and gets away by going to listen to music, though; some white folks come in and make conversations with them. She runs to the barn and climbs to the hayloft, where she lies awake thinking until she comes to the conclusion that the problems in her marriage are not her fault and then falls asleep. This transformation is gradually seen through her three marriages. Now her husband is with a mistress named Bertha. When they advise him to kill it, he brags about his ability to handle the snake. She tells him she wants nothing to do with him, that he should leave, and that she has changed churches to avoid seeing him.
Thinking more about the ways that Sykes has wronged her, Delia concludes that he will eventually get what is coming to him. Unlike many, Hurston did not see race. Chris eventually becomes angry as well, and he joins Jason in beating Oscar. Soon town folks stop by to see the creature. Her husband, Sykes, stands in the doorway, laughing at her. Delia continues to struggle against poverty as well as the emotional difficulties of her position. Delia hears screams and more rattling as the snake bites Sykes.