Theme of Manipulation in Sweat
Sweat is a short story by Zora Neale Hurston. The story is set in a local town, Eatonville, in Florida in the 1920s. It is built around an enduring woman, Delia Jones and her unappreciative unemployed husband, Sykes. Several themes are evident throughout the story, but the most dominant one is the theme of manipulation. Delia is portrayed as a fighter who withstood all the unpleasant actions that she is put through by her husband at almost all the circumstances. Besides, Delia endures religious and cultural manipulations. Hurston’s work represents the religious and cultural oppression of women through the perspective of Delia and as such woman manipulation is the major theme in the entire story. THIS IS A PREVIEW ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Hurston, in her story, Sweat, exhibits the theme of manipulation on several occasions. Manipulation entails making a person behave and think just like you want them to by skillfully influencing or deceiving them. Sykes tries to drive Delia out of their house but unsuccessfully. Knowing the fear that Delia has for snakes, Sykes decides to take advantage of her wife’s weakness to achieve his intended purpose.
Sykes brings a snake at their home to terrify her wife and scare her out of the house. When Delia finds the rattlesnake at the bottom of the clothes basket hamper, she becomes very frightened and runs out of the house. Delia goes to the barn where she intends to spend the night. “She climbed up in the hay barn there for an hour or more she lay sprawled upon the hays gibbering wreck”(Hurston 21). Sykes uses Delia’s weakness, fear for the snake, to frighten and manipulate her by unwillingly forcing her to leave the house. The time Delia spent in the hay ban she gibbered and wrecked meaning that she felt humiliated and oppressed. ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Canpolat, Yasemin. Zora Neale Hurston’s motherless heroines. Diss. DEÜ Sosyal Bilimleri Enstitüsü, 2010.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Sweat. Rutgers University Press, 1997.
Jenkins, Tammie. “Writing Vodou into Literature: Exploring Diasporic Religious Symbols and Lore in Zora Neale Hurston’s “Sweat” and Jonah’s Gourd Vine.” Journal of Africana Religions 4.2 (2016): 215-224.