MAKE SURE TO ANSWER ALL THESE QUESTIONS IN THE PEER REVIE
- Does the thesis include the two specific literary devices and a universal theme?
- Could the theme the student identified be more specific? Explain.
- Has the student included two quotes from the story?
- Has the student explained how each quote supports the thesis statement?
- Identify another quote that supports the student’s theme and explain how it does so, OR identify a quote that creates a problem or seems to contradict the student’s thesis statement and explain how it does so.
- Discuss the biblical quote the student has chosen and whether you agree or disagree with the student’s analysis of the biblical perspective of the poem.
Thesis: In Zora Neale Hurston’s short story “Sweat” she uses biblical allusions and characterization to show that not all free acts lead to freedom!
From the very beginning, we know that Delia is the breadwinner: “She was a wash-woman, and Monday morning meant a great deal to her.” She not only is well-organized, but she is strong as she works without complaint to provide for her useless husband. She is meek at first, but by the second page, she has found her voice as she has grown tired of the years of abuse when Skye’s’ threatens to punch her while she is working. “Delia’s habitual meekness seemed to slip from her shoulders like a blown scarf. She seized the iron skillet from the stove and struck a defensive pose, which acts surprised [Sykes] greatly, coming from her. That ole snaggle-toothed black woman you runnin’ with ain’t comin’ heah to pile up on mah sweat and blood.” Once he leaves, she realizes that love is lost for her and Sykes’, yet she seems to find comfort in this thought, “Oh well, whatever goes over the Devil’s back, is got to come under his belly. Sometime or ruther, Sykes, like everybody else, is gointer reap his sowing.
Sykes’ is unfaithful, cruel, selfish, childish, and lazy. He is the best description of a modern-day Pharisee as he has no issues pointing out Delia’s every fault yet refuses to acknowledge his own. “Yeah you just come from de church house on a Sunday night, but heah you gone to work on them clothes.You ain’t nothing but a hypocrite.” He is not only physically abusive, but emotionally as well and he never misses a moment to hurt her. “Well you better quit gitten’ me riled up, else they’ll be totin’ you out sooner than you expect. Ah’m so tired of you Ah don’t know whut to do. Gawd! How Ah hates skinny wimmen!” “G’ damn foots over yo’ mmie some kivah heah, an’ git yo’ own side! Ah oughter mash you in yo’ mouf fuh drawing dat skillet on me.” He decides to do away with his horrid wife by planting a venomous snake in her home and taking all the light or so he thought. Delia comes home to a dark house and can sense that Skyes has had that woman in her home, she reaches for the matches, but they are all gone except one she strikes the light and sees the snake that he has planted for her death. One match changed Skye’s plan and he reaps the rewards of a life lived without love
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