Sweat by Zora Neal Hurston

404 Words2 Pages
Essay on the short story “Sweat” by Zora Neal Hurston Sweat is a short story by the American writer “Zora Neale Hurston”, published in 1926. The story took place in Florida summer. This story revolves around Delia Jones and her unemployed, insecure husband, Sykes. Sweat is a tension or heat that Delia jones faces in this story. Delia Jones is a washerwoman whose struggles against society and her own husband finally erupt into an act of passive aggression, totally changing the complexion of her life. Delia is a washerwoman who works long hours in a small Central Florida village. Her husband Sykes does not work, yet he resents that Delia cleans "white folks'" clothes in their home. The marriage is an abusive one, ever since Sykes began beating Delia two months after marrying. Observers in the town remark how the once-beautiful Delia has lost her shine because of her abusive husband. A practical joker, Sykes scares Delia fifteen years by using her fear of snakes. Delia has come to the conclusion that she does not need Sykes nor his abuse, particularly considering it is her wages that paid for their home. Sykes is a stereotypical abusive husband. He physically and mentally abuses Delia, takes her income while failing to make his own, and has an affair on the side. Despite being out of work, for three months he has paid his mistress Bertha's rent. Sykes brings negativity to his relationship with Delia, and tries to poison her with a rattlesnake. Tired of Delia and seeking out freedom with his "portly" mistress Bertha, Sykes hatches a plan to poison Delia by planting a rattlesnake in her washing clothes, but the plan backfires after he is fatally bitten in the neck. After Sykes is bitten in the neck by the rattlesnake, Delia sits under a chinaberry tree while hearing the distant moaning and wailing of Sykes. This symbolizes her peace at letting Sykes pass on. The

More about Sweat by Zora Neal Hurston

Open Document