Spunk: Kill and Story

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Brianna Walton
English 101
What Goes Around Comes Around

Men’s role in the eyes of society is to be the head of the house, to provide for the family, and to be physically and mentally strong. They are taught not to show their emotions but to bury them. Society has taught us that the aggressive man will run the bigger business, make more money, eventually have a more successful life. Men who tend to be soft spoken and timid are looked at as weak in the eyes of others as well as in society. In Zora Neale Hurston's "Spunk," there is a conflict between Joe and Spunk. Spunk is having relations with Lena, Joe's wife. Joe seeks revenge and Spunk kills him. Ultimately Spunk is killed supposedly by Joe's evil spirit. The language captures the tone in the story, which strengthens the saying “what goes around comes around”.

Spunk is looked at as the town’s hero because he is not afraid of anything and he is physically strong, when in all actuality he should not be glorified by the town’s people because he is nothing but a bully. Joe is the exact opposite of Spunk, he is physically weak but mentally strong. The purpose of this story is to show that the physically bigger male doesn’t always win. Karma is always out looking for revenge and eventually the man that has spunk will be shown. Spunk is first introduced as a giant brown-skinned man that’s known for his bravery. The town’s people rejoice as they see him even though he is walking arm and arm with someone else’s wife. He is seen as the “ideal” male because he is strong and brave. Joe’s introduction is completely different. He is immediately looked at as weak by the town’s people because at the mention of his wife you could see the pain he was suffering in his eyes, his face, his hands, and even the dejected slump of his shoulders showed the pain he was suffering from the absence of his wife. It is obvious that Joe is not respected by his peers. Joe pulls out the razor to show them that he plans on killing...
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