February 10, 2013
Religion & Sexism in “Sweat”
When you think about women in the south in the 1920’s what comes to your mind first? Is it the hard work they did? Is it the fact that they were good family oriented women? Was it the way that they were self-sacrificing and took care of their husbands before themselves? Remembering the good can also come with some bad. Women in this time period had to go through many travesties, especially African American women who went through more than anyone else. The role that sexism played in their lives made it hard for them to be anything more than domestic workers, being easily disposable and wrongly treated. By virtue of religion, these women gained strength and a way to cope with all the injustices they went through. Through the sexism and the religion women became stronger and were able to become the confident beautiful beings we know them to be today. There is no better example of this struggle and triumph than in the story “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston. Religion and sexism go hand and hand in the story, these themes developed the characters, elaborate and establish the main points. Also it creates the plot by allowing the reader to be in the stories time frame, which is key to the plot. The treatment of women by not only whites but by blacks as well made life harder having two forms of persecution. Making an interesting point of view, the religion helps establish the main character and allows the reader to understand her struggles. As we read these themes, they become important to the reader. The religion and sexism intertwine with each other as the story progresses. “Sweat” through religion and sexism has several meanings that can be interpreted by the reader. These meanings are there for the reader to decipher. And allow for detailed and unique conclusions. Without these themes, sweat would be lacking key components that make it a...