"Sweat" by Zora Neale HurstonNow frequently anthologized, Zora Neale Hurstons short story Sweat was first published in Fire!!, a legendary literary magazine of the Harlem Renaissance, whose sole issue appeared in November 1926. Among contributions by Gwendolyn Bennett, Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and Wallace Thurman, Sweat stood out both for its artistic accomplishment and its exploration of rural Southern black life. In Sweat Hurston claimed the voice that animates her mature fiction, notably the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God; the themes of marital conflict and the development of spiritual consciousness were introduced as well. Sweat exemplifies Hurstons lifelong concern with womens relation to language and the literary possibilities of black vernacular.
This casebook for the story includes an introduction by the editor, a chronology of the authors life, the authoritative text of Sweat, and a second story, The Gilded Six-Bits. Published in 1932, this second story was written after Hurston had spent years conducting fieldwork in the Southern United States. The volume also includes Hurstons groundbreaking 1934 essay, Characteristics of Negro Expression, and excerpts from her autobiography, Dust Tracks on a Road. An article by folklorist Roger Abrahams provides additional cultural contexts for the story, as do selected blues and spirituals. Critical commentary comes from Alice Walker, who led the recovery of Hurstons work in the 1970s, Robert Hemenway, Henry Louis Gates, Gayl Jones, John Lowe, Kathryn Seidel, and Mary Helen Washington.
Sweat Essay Questions
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The title is significant for a number of reasons. The most obvious connotation is that it refers to the life of hard work that Delia must lead in order to support herself as well as Sykes, who refuses to contribute to the household. Sweat symbolizes all the suffering that Delia has endured over the years, but it is also the means by which Delia has been able to make a life and a home for herself.
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It was not just a case: African American women have always been preoccupied with the problems of men and women, family, gender roles, moral choices, good and evil, closely related to African American writers have been looked upon as possible to provide the answers for the questions. Sweat, Hurstons best short story about a womans struggle for survival, is a perfect representation of a special role of South in the development of the United States. The freedom in choosing for the Southern women is the greatest paradox of the Old South. Sweat, feminism, and freedoms Sweat harmonically combines several main directions of American literature, such as romanticism, naturalism, realism, and the features of so-called literature school of local coloring. The romantic theme is Delias attempt to find her own individuality and freedom: the freedom of choice to be, to think and to live. The importance of childhood remembering, personifications, and classical feature of sufferings underline the elements peculiar to romantic literature. The relations between Delia and her husband Hurston describes with the utmost clarity, sometimes descending to naturalism.
Zora Neale Hurston was one of the most prolific African-American female writers of her day. Between and , Hurston published seven books including her autobiography Dust Tracks on a Road. In addition to her major publications, she also wrote many short stories, plays, biographies, newspaper and magazine articles. Hurston was born in the all-black town of Eatonville, Florida. Eatonville was the setting for many of her stories of folklore and probably shaped many of her political views.