Biblical Significance from “Sweat”
This short story has very powerful moral and religious resemblance. Right away we get the impression that Delia is a doer, she washes cloths for living. She starts her week by first going to church every Sunday, she is religiously strong. Her husband Sykes Jones is the complete opposite from his wife, abusive, immoral and inconsiderate to her feelings. In the story Delia says to her husband, “Sweat, sweat, sweat! Work and sweat, cry and sweat, pray and sweat.” There is no lost love between them; all she has is her faith. During this short story there is religious significance that characterizes husband and wife on opposing ethical spectrum however they are obligated by martial vows. It is obvious that there is good versus evil, as one interprets Delia and Sykes characters. Scott expressed, this is never more apparent when he answers Delia’s question as to why he enjoys making her suffer. Sykes approaches Delia as if she was a nuisance in his life. Instead of appreciating her kindheartedness since she does not complain about his two-timing or when he spends her hard earned money. “She had brought love to the union and he had brought a longing for the flesh.” Within two months of being married he started to beat and never stopped; even the town folk noticed her physical change after years of being abused. As one reads that sentence, we get the sense that there is no love from Sykes or even hope for their marriage. “Oh well,whatever goes over the Devil’s back, is got to come under his belly.” As one reads that statement, we know that it is her faith that keeps her optimistic about her future. The word white is defined as morally pure; innocent, similar to Delia. Delia normally washes people’s white cloths, but Sykes mocks her because the cloths belong to white people. “Yeah, you just come from de church house on a Sunday night, but heah you is gone to work on them cloths. You ain’t nothin’ but a hypocrite.” In this...
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