The Symbols Of Evil In Sweat By Zora Neale Hurston

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What goes around comes around The “Sweat” is a short story written by Zora Neale Hurston and was published in 1926. The story portrays the struggle of a married, colored couple Sykes and Delia Jones. Delia is an honest, hardworking woman, and Sykes is a mean, rude egomaniac, who finds great pleasure using a snake to torture his wife’s and to laugh at her greatest fear. Upon a closer examination, there is a deeper meaning to the plain words ‘snake’ and ‘sweat’. “Reap what you sow” is the theme of this not-so-fairy tale of the conflict between ‘good’ and the ‘bad.’ In the fiction literature, when there is a deeper meaning to word than just the obvious meaning, it is called a symbol. Aside of being one of the natural processes of a body excretions, …show more content…
Delia Jones is an involved in a church, and evil is something that paralyses her and horrifies her to death. To most people, snakes are just as repulsive as they are scary, and they are generally viewed as life threatening if one does not know them; just as an evil is to a Christian. One day Delia was engrossed in her work as usual, Sykes came home and threw a black, “big bull whip” (1032) over her shoulder, which then in snake-like manner slid down on the floor. The shock, fear, and horror have nearly killed her, but the laughter from watching her also nearly killed Sykes. Because he did this on purpose, with an evil intent inside of him, this makes him evil …show more content…
For years Sykes Jones openly cheated on his wife, he beat her, belittled her, used her, the list goes on and on through fifteen years of their marriage. Or at least until the day he brought her a surprise in a soap box. A rattle snake. Nearly death stricken again, she cried he has to take it away, so his answer was: “[…] fact is Ah aint got tuh do nothin’ but die.” “[…] he’s gointer stay right heah tell he die” (1036). Despite the warnings of people in the village, Sykes kept the snake around, and kept bragging to everybody that he had it under control. Eventually the snake got out of the box one day, just as an evil would, and scared Delia out of the house to hide. Finally she has had enough: “Well, Ah done de bes’ Ah could. If things aint right, Gawd knows taint mah fault” (1039).When Sykes returned home at the dawn from his mistress, his own evil turned on him. Snake bit him several times and Sykes dies in agony, calling out for Delia’s

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