Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston



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Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston

Listen to the story “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston. Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper. You should write complete answers (well-written) with evidence from the text. After you finish the questions, create a graphic for the story. The medium is your choice, but try to include a symbol or an image from the story as you understand it.

Questions

1. Discuss the meaning of the title from the perspective of the biblical account of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden? Does this frame of reference help readers to understand key patterns in the story?

2. How does the African American spiritual music help us to understand Delia?

3. Discuss the major conflicts in the story.

4. Discuss patterns of imagery in “Sweat,” paying particular attention to the different levels of meaning associated with “black” and “white.”

5. Discuss the symbolic meanings of Sykes’s whip and the snake.

6. Discuss the standards of morality and behavior in the community represented in “Sweat.” What qualities do men in the story admire about other men—and women? What qualities do women admire about other women—and men? What are the ideal relationships between men and women? How are community ideals enforced or regulated?

7. Why is Sykes so abusive towards Delia?

8. Why does Delia not warn Sykes that the rattlesnake is in the bedroom? How do readers reconcile her behavior with the image of her as a good Christian?

Taken from scribblingwomen.org

Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston

Listen to the story “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston. Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper. You should write complete answers (well-written) with evidence from the text. After you finish the questions, create a graphic for the story. The medium is your choice, but try to include a symbol or an image from the story as you understand it.

Questions

1. Discuss the meaning of the title from the perspective of the biblical account of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden? Does this frame of reference help readers to understand key patterns in the story?

2. How does the African American spiritual music help us to understand Delia?

3. Discuss the major conflicts in the story.

4. Discuss patterns of imagery in “Sweat,” paying particular attention to the different levels of meaning associated with “black” and “white.”

5. Discuss the symbolic meanings of Sykes’s whip and the snake.

6. Discuss the standards of morality and behavior in the community represented in “Sweat.” What qualities do men in the story admire about other men—and women? What qualities do women admire about other women—and men? What are the ideal relationships between men and women? How are community ideals enforced or regulated?

7. Why is Sykes so abusive towards Delia?

8. Why does Delia not warn Sykes that the rattlesnake is in the bedroom? How do readers reconcile her behavior with the image of her as a good Christian?

Taken from scribblingwomen.org



Prepared for AP Literature and Composition

Wade Hampton High School

Catged women Unit

Janet Atkins (jatkins@greenville.k12.sc.us)







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