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Sweat is one of the most iconic short stories of the early 20th century. The story was an important one in that time period due to the fact that how it embodied some of the issues that were faced by women at that point of time and what was the coping mechanism that was adopted by these women. The story was written by Zora Neale Hurston and it revolves around a washerwoman and her unemployed husband. The story has been praised at more or less universal level and there are people who have went on to say that it is a remarkable piece of work. During the course of the story, there are many themes and undertones. One of the core themes of the story which is still relevant today is the story of feminism and women empowerment. It was an interesting time period for Black women especially due to the fact that the economic opportunities for them on a much higher side as compared to black men as they could serve as domestic helps in white households. The feminist art movement was also taking place in that time period and how the awakening of the black culture was also taking place. The story developed a story of sense of reckoning among black women that how with means of economic freedom, they can vouch for social freedom as well. The other reason that it is an important work of art is due to the fact that how it goes to show the prevailing culture of diversity at that point of time. The key aspect of the whole thing is that how the story goes to show that how at times, women do not take necessary steps for their wellbeing. At times, the status you and the perception of the people with regards to the women who were divorced stopped women from coming out of the abusive marriage. Despite the fact that her husband was not treating well, was cheating on her and as a matter of fact, trying to harm her, she does not consider even one moment to come out of the marriage and instead kept on suffering abuse at that point of time. The story provides an important perspective in the sense regarding what were the broader struggles of the working women at that point of time and what were some of the things that they need to take care off.
The other thing that the story tends to show well is that how women must make sure that they are going to improve their state. The idea is to make sure that the broader perspective is kept in mind in terms of the way people are going to be moving forward in their rights. Effort must be made on her part to make sure that she gains economic freedom. Once she is not dependent on her husband or any other person for their economic wellbeing, only then they are going to be able to develop the necessary heart to carry out and execute such a plan. At the same time, the other thing that goes to show that with her new-found economic independence, black women were able to make sure that they are able to get back to their husband or abusive partners. This is signified very well during the closing stages of the story where her husband is dying but she is standing calmly over there to make sure that she witnesses the demise of her husband. That lack of attachment stemmed from the fact that how she was not able to relate with her husband at emotional level and did not needed him to take care of her. So, there was no underlying motivation for her to stop her husband from doing something of sorts.
The key thing that has been discussed during the premises of the story is that how for a very long time, there was a deliberate attempt by men to make sure that they deny equal opportunities to women and then make them subject to abuse. The story also goes a long way towards showing that how the strong and independent women must be reacting despite the fact how her circumstances shape out to be. The important thing that has been showed here is that how much a person must be willing to work hard and how each day effort has to be carried out by them. Even when one talks about the eventual sexuality of Delia, the emotions in this instance are manifested that just because he is a man, he is not supposed to show his powers to her. The story also depicted the eventual struggle and coming of age for Delia in a sense that how as the abuse was increasing, she was losing the chunks of her personality and was losing control of her own self.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Sweat. Rutgers University Press, 1997.
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