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Zora Neale Hurston Critical Essays

Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston

❶It is an unexpected turn of events since he knows that she is unreservedly scared of snakes. Samples August 26th,

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Zora Neale Hurston American Literature Analysis

Being the only black student at the school during that time, she graduated with a B. By , she published several short stories, novels, and folklore. In the following years, Hurston published a number of her works; Tell My Horse about Caribbean voodoo practices, and Moses, Man of the Mountain, to name a few. The Harlem Renaissance was a period where African American artists broke with the traditional dialectal works and imitating hite writers to explore black culture and express pride in their race.

This was expressed in literature, music, art, and other forms of artistic expression. Hurston and her stories about Eatonville became a major force in shaping these ideals. Hurston begins the story by describing her experiences in Eatonville. Greeting her neighbors and singing and dancing in the streets as. In essence, her story is unlike others in her time. Instead of writing an essay on racial inequality, Hurston writes about her own uniqueness as a person and her ability to identify herself in the world.

There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. The positive tone and nature of this short story is what separates this work from others. Hurston could have talked about the discrimination and hatred towards her colored skin through complaints and arguments. Though she may be different in color, Hurston does not consider it a disadvantage. This can be seen especially in Seraph on the Suwannee , her one attempt at centering a novel on mainly white characters.

It is the most disappointing of her fictions. The exception to this rule may, with some justification, be said to be Moses, Man of the Mountain , her version of the escape of the Hebrews from Egypt and the founding of Israel; in fact, however, the book is successful precisely because it rewrites the story of Moses as a black fable about the establishment of an autonomous nation after the end of slavery.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part details her collecting of folklore in Florida, the second part in New Orleans. The order in which the tales are related is ostensibly random, simply the order in which people told them to her, but as her biographer Robert Hemenway points out, and as inspection of the text reveals, the clusters of the stories are, to some extent, thematic.

Though there are a few stories about men and women in the first part of the book, most of the earlier stories deal with the days of slavery and with competition between the races in general.

John is a consummate trickster figure who, though he will often engage in hard physical labor, always triumphs through the power of his wits, and occasionally, good luck. Many of the other stories are talking animal stories, similar to the ones Joel Chandler Harris had collected in his Uncle Remus stories some years earlier. The encoded message, preaching resistance to oppression, could not be clearer. Part 2 of Mules and Men has an entirely different feel to it.

In part 1, it is clear that Hurston is collecting stories with which she is often already familiar, in an area that, though she occasionally stands out as citified, she basically considers to be home.

Part 2, however, takes her to New Orleans, where she sets about collecting the lore of Hoodoo, which she argues is a suppressed religion. Whereas in the first part, Hurston herself is often as important as the stories she is collecting, in the second part, she removes herself more to the background, usually playing the role of student to the people she writes about.

Part 2 is written as series of profiles of individual Hoodoo doctors. Luke Turner, one such doctor, tells Hurston the legend of Marie Leveau, a famous nineteenth century Hoodoo doctor; Anatol Pierre is a Catholic who also claims to have learned from Leveau. Duke is a root doctor, who uses herbs and roots he gathers from the swamps. Hurston is very careful about detailing the initiation ceremonies that different doctors make her undergo as well as the elaborate rituals they use to get rid of people, to get people back, and even to kill them.

When the man begins, several days later, to feel a pain in his chest, he returns to the woman he left, who quickly has the curse canceled.


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- Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston Zora Neale Hurston is a remarkable author who reflects her life in most of her novels, short stories, and her essays. She was a writer during the Harlem Renaissance, also known as “the new negro movement”, however; her writings were not given proper recognition at first because they were not of the “norm” for that time period.

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Hurston’s depiction of black life in her writing stands in sharp contrast to the harsher views of black life depicted in works by such novelists as Richard Wright, who attacked her writing as.

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As Sharon L. Jones has observed, "Hurston's essay challenges the reader to consider race and ethnicity as fluid, evolving, and dynamic rather than static and unchanging" (Critical Companion to . Remembered as one the of most successful and most significant African-American authors, folklorist, and anthropologists in the 20th century, Zora Neale Hurston captured the attention of others through her numerous essays, short stories, plays and novels.

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Zora Neale Hurston bypassed the conventional African-American writer of her era by not advocating race consciousness in her short story “Sweat.” By ignoring political expectations in her writing, Hurston introduces the reader to African-American Folklore. Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston. Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston. Introduction: Sweat is one of Zora Neale Hurston’s world-renowned short stories. As a famous American writer, Hurston is known for writing stories that depict real life as it was during the years when she wrote the stories.