Motifs And Historical Symbols In Sweat By Zora Neale Hurston

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There are things that are unacceptable but they happen anyway. There are usually things that a person can look for to indicate whether something good or bad is about to happen to them. In the story Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston, the main character Delia deals with a lot as she tries to continue to live with her adulterous husband. There are things that are regionally, culturally, and geographically accepted. This essay will illustrate how the motifs, historical background and symbols of Zora Neale Hurston 's "Sweat" illuminate the theme of the story. In the story, Delia, a wash worker is being cheated on by her husband Sykes. Sykes is sleeping with a woman named Bertha. As Delia go out and earn a living for her home, her husband is disrespecting …show more content…
One symbol that is slightly apparent is the title of the story. “Sweat” represents the struggle that Delia is having to endure being that she is the head of household. It represents the plight that she has having to provide for her and her husband who is not working in the story (Champion). But in a sense she is providing for three people, because although Sykes is married, he is having to take care of the other woman that he is sleeping with. The money that Delia is bring home for her and Sykes is being divided by three. But this also shows that her husband does not care that he is not working to help provide for her. In fact, he is trying to get her out the house so that he can move the mistress in the house. In a way, Delia’s blood sweat and tears will go in vain because the man that she loves does not care about her. Furthermore, the snake is a huge symbol. It comes into play a lot in the story. The snake represents the man that she was dealing with. It can also represent the evil that was within him. To Sykes, the snake represented the dominance that he wanted to have over Delia. He wanted to control her to the point that he did not want her to do anything. He thought that the snake would keep her in line and in turn get what he wanted out of

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