Saturday, July 20, 2019

Delia Jones Transformation in Sweat Essays -- Sweat Essays

Delia Jones' Transformation in Zora Neale Hurston's Sweat Through external conflict exhibited by three significant occasions with the antagonist and husband, Sykes Jones, Zora Neale Hurston takes her leading character, Delia Jones, through an internal change from a submissive character to an aggressive and defensive character in her short story, "Sweat." When the story opens, one finds Delia Jones on a Sunday evening washing clothes, as was her profession, and humming a tune, wondering where her husband had gone with her horse and carriage. Little did she know that within the week she would stand against her abusive husband and watch him die of the situation he would create. Delia's repose was suddenly upset by interference from her husband, Sykes, who dropped "something long, round, limp and black" upon her shoulders. Delia's worst fear was that of snakes, and her husband found joy in mocking and terrifying her. After brief argument, Sykes continued to disrupt Delia's work by kicking the clothes around and threatening throw them outside or hit her. He also mentioned a promise to "Gawd and a couple of other men" that he would no longer have white people's clothes in his house. At this she responds in a manner greatly surprising to Sykes: Delia's habitual meekness seemed to slip from her shoulders like a blown scarf. She was on her feet; her poor little body, her bare knuckly hands bravely defying the strapping hulk before her... She seized the iron skillet from the stove and struck a defensive pose, which act surprised him greatly, coming from her. It cowed him and he did not strike her as he usually did. By nightfall, Sykes had gone for the evening without saying where or when he would be bac... ...lia Jones endured fifteen years of violence, disrespect, and infidelity, and only in those last few months was she able to muster some form of resistance. Until Sykes threatened all that she had, her home and her job, she was content enough just sweating it out. However, Sykes made that grave mistake on his own accord, and when leaving Delia with nothing to lose, he found that he had set himself up for a losing battle. Delia had surrendered to him in all those years, but Sykes had finally found a way to bring out the worst in his wife, and her aggression was finally realized by defending all that she had. After such pain and endurance, one can easily recognize how Delia Jones played the lead role in a short story called "Sweat." Works Cited: Hurston, Zora Neale. "Sweat." Norton Anthology of Southern Literature. Ed. William L. Andrews. New York: Norton, 1998.

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