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Is Silence Really a Weakness?

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Is Silence Really A Weakness?

Being abusive to not only a female but any individual can lower their self-esteem and make them feel rejected. Zora Neale Hurston uses Delia Jones to illustrate what some married women go through in an abusive marriage. She also illustrates how her weakness became her strength. Although many people would agree that a person silence is a weakness, this case is certainly different. In "Sweat", Zora Neale Hurston uses characterization to critique gender roles during the mid-18th century. She also demonstrates how much abuse a women can handle.

In the story "Sweat" Delia Jones is a washer woman who experience many hardships throughout her marriage. She is constantly both physically and verbally abused by her husband Syke. The story begins with Delia folding clothes and Syke comes over and knocks them over. Instead of Delia saying anything she silently picks the clothes up and continues to fold. Delia reminds silent to prevent him from beating her once again. Delia is a passive towards Skye. She tolerates him to prevent any arguments.

Marriage in the early 1900s consists of men working while women were the ones who took care of house duties. But in this case Delia was the one who was the provider and the house keeper. Syke beats on Delia to gain some type of power over her. Therefore, he talks to Betty so he would feel like he is a provider. He takes her to the store and tells her she can have anything she wants in front of the town and Delia, to make it seem he is in control. Some marriages also consist of women being abused by their husband. Although the women were abuse, they always had different strengths to help them pull through. For example, in the short story "Zora Neale Hurston and the survival female", the main character Amy, gets abused by her husband Ned. Amy's son John was her strength, just how God was Delia's strength. In reality women are


stronger than men. In john's words ("Just because women do not have muscle strength does not mean men are stronger than women. Men and women are made equally.")

Furthermore, Delia reaches her breaking point in the story. She quotes, "Ah been married to you fur fifteen years, and ah been takin' in washin' fur fifteen years. Sweat, sweat, sweat! Work and sweat, cry and sweat, pray and sweat!" Delia gradually starts stand up for herself. Her faith in god made her realize that she will soon get her ravage. In society, women who finally stand up for their selves are the ones who survive. Either calling the police or finally telling someone are their signs of their mental breakdown.

Before Delia married Syke she was a beautiful young lady.



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