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Zora Neale Hurston
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Sweat Questions and Answers
How does the authors decision to open up the “Bull Whip” scene contribute to the overall meaning of the story "Sweat"?
Discuss the importance of the men on the porch in the short story “Sweat.” What is their significance? Why does the author put them there and have them comment on their observations? What do they offer?
How and why does Delia Jones change throughout the story Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston?
Why does Sykes dislike skinny women like Delia? Why does he like fat women like Bertha?
In "Sweat," after Sykes had been bitten by the snake, Delia heard Sykes call her name several times. Why does she choose not to respond to his calls for help? Since she does not respond, is Delia responsible for Sykes's death? Why or why not?
How does Zora Neale Hurston represent Delia and Sykes in the first part of the story "Sweat"?
In the story "Sweat" by Zora Neale Hurston, what information does the first part of the story reveal about the social and economic contexts in which Delia and Sykes live?
What is the relevance of the setting in "Sweat" at the beginning of the story? How relevant is this story in modern times?
What is the conflict in "Sweat"?
From what point of view is "Sweat" by Zora Neale Hurston written?
What is the symbolism in Hurston's "Sweat"?
What do you think causes Sykes to behave the way he does?
What is the significance of Delia being a washwoman? Why, of all professions, might Hurston have chosen this one?
Why do you think Delia stays with Sykes after he has been so abusive towards her?
What is the tone of the story "Sweat'' by Zora Neale Hurston?
In "Sweat" by Zora Neal Hurston, in the second part of the story village men on Joe Clarke's porch talk about Delia. What do you learn more about Delia and Sykes from their talk?
In " Sweat" By Zora Hurston, is Delia right to let Sykes die at the end of the story ?
In "Sweat," do you agree with Delia’s decision not to help Sykes? Do you think Sykes got what was coming to him? Explain Delia’s choice by analyzing the story’s final paragraph.
Would you describe Delia’s actions at the end of the story as revenge?
Towards the end of "Sweat," we see Delia "climbing up in the hay barn" and lying there for an hour or more. What does she do there? Why is this important in the story?
How and why does Delia stand up for herself in "Sweat"? Why is her home is so important to her?
Does the contrast between the dialects in "Sweat" undermine the author's attempt to present portrayals of African-Americans?
What is the significance of the title of the story "Sweat" by Zora Neale Hurston?
How do the words and actions of Sykes in paragraphs 4–6 of "Sweat" foreshadow possible events in the story? Why might Skyes be "hoping, praying for an argument" in paragraph 9? How does it shape your perception of him?
In "Sweat," why does Sykes consider Delia a hypocrite for washing the clothes of white people? Do you agree with him?
What do Eatonville and Winter Park represent in Sweat by Zora Neale Hurston?
What does the rattlesnake symbolize in the story "Sweat"?
Is Delia a meek or strong character? Why or why not?
What is the rising action of the short story "Sweat" by Zora Neale Hurston?
What is the significance of Delia being a washerwoman?
In "Sweat" by Zora Neale Hurston, what is Sykes’s objection to “white folks’ clothes” being in the house?
What is the role of the old men sitting on the porch in Sweat?
What is the irony in the story "Sweat"?
Consider “Sweat” a moral tale, one meant to teach a moral, a lesson, one that pits Good against Evil. In this moral tale, what can the reader take away from the reading?
In the story "Sweat" by Zora Neale Hurston, what is the theme?
What has Delia and Sykes' marriage been like in "Sweat"? What are the sources of discontent that make them so angry at each other?
Explain how Hurston uses the snake both literally and symbolically in the story, "Sweat."
In Zora Neale Hurston's "Sweat," what do we learn about Delia's ability to strategically forget and remember the past?
In her short story "Sweat," Hurston uses regional dialect. What knowledge about the characters and setting is shared with the reader by this use of dialect?
What information does the first part of the story reveal about the social and economic contexts in which Delia and Sykes live? What do Eatonville and Winter Park represent?
In "Sweat" by Hurston, what is the symbol of the snake comparing it to a phallus?
What is Hurston's purpose in using a snake as a symbol?
Discuss Delia's character dynamics in Sweat. Given her unfortunate marriage, was her bravery a newfound strength or had she always been a fighter?
How would I cite "Sweat" in my essay? I know how to do the reference page but when I am writing in text I'm not sure the proper format.
In "Sweat," what might Delia’s future be like now that her husband is dead?
Why is Sweat considered one of Hurston's best early works? How does it reflect the nature of humankind?
In the story "Sweat" by Zora Neale Hurston, do you think Delia should have helped Sykes?
How does the opening scene of the story set the tone and conflict?
In the short story, "Sweat," by Zora Neale Hurston, how does the title represent the tears Delia was crying from the abuse she received?
Discuss the story "Sweat" by Zora Neale Hurston.