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Literature 1

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Dena1
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The Infidelity Struggle of “The Gilded Six-Bits”

In Hurston story “The Gilded Six-Bits,” the character Missy Mae exemplified psychological struggle over her infidelity with another man. At the beginning of the story, you can read the happiness and love that Missy May and Joe felt for each other. This is shown when he came home from work and played with her. The author stated it when she wrote, “Shouting, laughing, twisting, turning, tussling, tickling each other in the ribs; Missie May clutching onto Joe and Joe trying, but not too hard, to get away.” Hurston was showing how these two characters were in love with one another. Hurston also showed the excitement in Missie May waiting for Joe to come home when she stated “Humph! Ah’m way behind time t’day! Joe gointer be heah ’fore Ah git mah clothes on if Ah don’t make haste.” She grabbed the clean meal sack at hand and dried herself hurriedly and began to dress. But before she could tie her slippers, there came the ring of singing metal on wood. Nine times. Missie May grinned with delight.”

Even though these two characters are in love, their marriage takes a turn for the worse. After arriving home from work one night, Joe found that his wife had been sleeping with another man. Instead of killing them he just laughed at them. I am sure he was a laughing to conceal his anguish or disbelief of the situation. Emotionally hurt after finding his wife in bed with another man, Joe allowed the man to leave their home. Joe loved Missie May so much that you can tell that he forgave her right away. This is stated when he says “Missie May, whut you cryin’ for? “Cause Ah love you so hard and Ah know you don’t love me no mo’.” This statement showed the reader that he still loved Missie May. The infidelity was hard for Missie May to overcome. She continued to be saddened over the situation. Joe said to her “Missie May, you cry too much. Don’t look back lak Lot’s wife and turn to salt.” In this statement Joe was trying to tell Missie May to let the infidelity go and move on. It was hard for Missie May to forgive herself. It was hard because she slept with the man to get the gold piece that he had. This is stated when she tells Joe “Oh Joe, honey, he said he wuz gointer give me dat gold money and he jes’ kept on after me”.

We can see the strain that Missie May had put on her marriage. The strain was placed on her marriage because of her need to have a gold coin. It seemed that Missey Mae refused to believe that her husband had forgiven her. After she becomes pregnant, things became a lot better between them. They stared enjoying each others company again. The love was back between the both of them. Missey May had finally accepted that Joe had forgiven her most importantly, she had forgiven herself as well.

This story was an example of what happened almost everyday in our society today. Unlike this story, people in our society today are not as forgiving as Joe was to his wife. For example a golfer by the name of Tiger Woods had his infidelity brought into the public mainstream. Tiger Woods did not have a happy ending like the characters in this story. Maybe if his indiscretions were not broadcast all over the television, twitter, facebook and magazines, he could have had a chance to be forgiven by his wife. I am not saying that Tiger Woods should have been forgiven. What I am saying is that it was hard for his wife and family to get over his indiscretions being everywhere. I think that Tiger and the women that he slept with did not have any moral values at all. He was married and these women knew it, yet they slept with him. Our society is heavily engulfed in materialism which is why these women slept with Tiger Woods. The power, prestige, and money that Tiger could offer them help the women to lose their values.

Bibliography

Goldman, Russell, Tabloids Allege Tiger Woods Had Affairs With at Least Three Women www.abcnews.go.com, July 15, 2012

Hurston, Neale Zora. The Gilded Six-Bits, The Norton Anthology American Literature. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2007.

--------------------------------------------
[ 1 ]. Hurston, Neale Zora. The Norton Anthology American Literature. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2007.
[ 2 ]. Hurston, Neale Zora. The Norton Anthology American Literature. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2007.

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