Sweat Zora Neale Hurston

Topics: Morality, Symbol, Good and evil Pages: 3 (988 words) Published: May 25, 2011
“Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston is filled with many religious symbolism. Good versus evil plays a large role in the development of Delia and Skype Jones, as characters. The story is about Delia, an African American woman who is a washwoman for whites. Delia consistently looks to her religion for guidance and support as she endures the many hardships that she faces because, which are caused by her abusive husband and unfaithful husband, Sykes. Delia and Sykes Jones is a couple that have opposite moral values, but yet they are tied together through marital vows, that no longer have much importance or value.

Delia Jones is portrayed as the Protagonist and a very modest woman of weakness who later gains the strength to stand u to her abusive husband Skyes. Delia looks to God and her religion to help her build the strength she needs, so she can continue to be protected from her husband who is both physically and emotionally abusive to her. However, Sykes Jones, is every bit the opposite of Delia Jones. He has neither religious values nor any important moral standards. He is an adulterous, who takes Delia’s hard working money, and spends not on his wife but on his mistress Bertha. Delia who relies solely on her faith and continues to stay contempt, no matter how her husband treats her, but Delia warned him that in the end, Sykes “sometime or ruther, Sykes, like everybody else, is gointer reap his sowing (par. 26).”

The white clothes that Delia washes are a symbol of Delia’s character, as being humble and having a humble spirit through all of Sykes emotional torment. While the white clothes are symbols of purity ad humbleness, Delia is a symbol of a God (Christian) like figure.

The snake and whip are symbols in the story that represent evil. A snake is generally recognized as evil religiously, because of the biblical story Adam and eve, when Satan turns into a snake. There were two instances in the story when Sykes decides to scare Delia; the first...
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