Reading Response "Sweat" Essay

813 words - 4 pages

Jennifer WardJuly 22, 2014English 336Reading Response 2The Critical Essay of"Sweat"In the short story, "Sweat," by Zora Neale Hurston, the setting is in the early 1900's in a small all-black town in Florida, Eatonville. The reader is able to quickly understand the conflicts taking place at the center of this story, beginning with Delia sorting clothes on a Sunday afternoon when her husband Sykes returns home, after spending the day with his mistress. The second he returns home he begins to taunt his wife, Delia. As soon as Sykes refers to the "white folks" clothes, the reader is able to see the humiliation he feels for not being able to support his wife like he should. The arrangement in ...view middle of the document...

Delia will not allow Sykes to run her off from what is hers and move in his mistress, Bertha. Sykes has his own plans of trying to break Delia down and Delia decides to no longer endure Syke's abuse, creating major conflict between them.The conflict is developed further in the story by all of the characters sharing their own personal experiences with Sykes and remembering the person Delia used to be before she was married. An assortment of men gather in front of the general store gossiping about the town's point of view of Sykes. The men seem to sympathize with Delia, recognizing the abuse she endures, and condemning Bertha for her relations with Sykes. The conflict is heightened even further when Delia passes Sykes and Bertha buying groceries at the general store on her way home. As more time passes the narrator lets us know that Bertha has been in town for three months and that Delia and Sykes now fought with "no peaceful interludes, and ate and slept in silence." Everything begins to come to a head at the end of the story when the snake he tried to kill his wife...

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