Premium Essay

Delia's Rebellion In Sweat By Hurston

Submitted By
Words 1023
Pages 5
Delia’s rebellion stems from her gradual, yet profound change in her attitude towards Sykes. Similar to the Harlem Renaissance, a time period of rebirth of African American culture, Delia too gains a new outlook on life. Delia has endured Sykes’s abuse and lack of love for fifteen years. Although it is clear that Sykes has emotionally manipulated Delia for years, the beginning of the story shows the reader that change is imminent. Initially, Delia “brought love to the union,” but was met with Sykes’s “longing after the flesh” (Hurston 388). That was her first transformation, going from a naive romantic to accepting the harsh reality. After her marriage, she suffered through Sykes’s infidelity and beatings. When the story begins, Delia is at …show more content…
In fact, it seems that Delia only stays with Sykes because of her religion. Delia is a frequent church-goer and values its sacraments. Since marriage is sacred to most religions, Delia feels an obligation to maintain her relationship. In the beginning of the story, she tries to avoid starting a fight with Sykes out of respect for the day: “Ah aint for no fuss t'night Sykes. Ah just come from taking sacrament at the church house.” (Hurston 387). Skyes even tries to guilt Delia for working by using her religion against her. He states “Yeah, you just come from de church house on a Sunday night, but heah you is gone to work on them clothes.” (Hurston 387). Not only does Delia herself encompass Christianity, the plot line does as well. “Sweat” is comprised of many biblical allusions and symbolisms. The story is heavily allusive to the Garden of Eden, complete with the snake of temptation, and Delia is reborn at the end of the story with a radically different life view. As Adam and Eve are exiled from the Garden of Eden, Delia is exiled from the spiritual life she wishes to have because of Sykes. Delia’s homes is like the Garden of Eden. She has invested so much of her time and sweat into maintaining her home, her pride and joy. The story itself begins and ends on a Sunday. While Bertha (mistress) is in town, Delia’s suffering is comparable to the garden of Gethsemane. The garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus took his disciples to pray. When he instructed them to either to watch or pray, they all fell asleep. Judas betrayed Jesus and led the Romans to him at Gethsemane before he was crucified. As Carter states, “Delia feels betrayed, she bears a cross too. She married Sykes because she loved him, but he beats and cheats on her.” The presence of the snake in story is extremely

Similar Documents