Sweat Essay

Published: 2021-07-14 18:00:07
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SweatSteven WoodJerry ErathEssay #47th March 1997It is easy to see why a person would find “Sweat” an offensive story. Many who read this story will find that the style in which it is written to bedegrading to the African American race.
However, this assumption has littlebacking. Zora Hurston is clearly relaying a story that tells of her time. Tosay “Sweat” is stereotypical is to deny the fact that this is the way thingswere at one time. For a person to acknowledge the way things were is to merely recallhistory. Why should a race be ashamed of their history? They would bettertheir own values by taking this story for what it is worth.
Not only does ittell of their ancestors way of life, but it shows how things have changed forthe better. If one could not write stories about their experiences in the past thepublic would be unknowing of its culture and heritage. Hurston even usedreference to Jewish people in this story. They also were slaves and were facedwith over four hundred years of hardships and inequalities. It has not beenknown for the people of the Jewish faith to be insulted by the Bible which tellstheir stories. In fact, they use it as a way of life.
It serves as a learningtool that proved how strong they were and how much suffering they had to endure. When they are faced with problems they relate back to stories, just as this, tofind that strength once again. Mrs. Hurston, being a African American herself, should have the right totell a story of her heritage without being persecuted. The fact that that ishow African Americans spoke during that time should not be cause forembarrassment.
It is just a fact of how things were. When relating a storyfrom a certain time period, it should be written in the dialect used at thattime. The people who find this story demeaning are obviously choosing to notbelieve this is how things were. If you change the facts, you change thehistory. People of all nationalities have parts of their heritage that theywould rather not admit to, but a mistake made should be noted and then changedif possible.
It should not be forgotten due to its unpleasantness. The more African Americans are ignored for their differences, the morethey have to set themselves apart from the “typical” white American. For example,black people were given equal rights and equal opportunities in the workingworld with affirmative action. These things were obtained through the requestand demanding of African Americans so they could be equal Americans.
Once thesethings were obtained, they set out to make themselves as different as possible. It is very understandable that they would want to differ from those who causedthem so much humiliation as a race. In fact, for them to want to run out andact the same way would be hypocritical. The need for difference is not onlyunderstandable, but expected. Hurston portrays African Americans with the underdeveloped speech whichthey had at that time. Not only does she portray their speech habits, but alsotells of their daily life experiences.
The main character should be a model forAfrican Americans today. She was humble and didn’t have too much pride. Shewas willing to do what it took to survive. She had a hard life but dealt withit believing that all who did wrong would reap what they had sewed.
The African Americans today should take notice and not be too proud toadmit the things they wish to forget.

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