What would you say are Delia Jones character flaws in "Sweat"?

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jlcannad eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First and foremost, I would nominate her willingness to endure her husband's abuse.  The men of the town clearly side with her in this conflict, so had she addressed this failing on Sykes' part early in their relationship, she might have either changed him or chased him off before she was left as old and worn out as a chewed up stick of cane.  But as long as she put up with his abuse, no one else stepped forward to try and protect her.

I think that some people would suggest that she's unChristian in the end when she allows Sykes to go into the house.  And then when he's in the bedroom, she was right by the window and the window shade that kept out the rising sun.  It's unlikely they had glass in the windows, so she could have reached through and pushed the curtain to one side.  She didn't.  So she does have some culpability in Sykes' death.  But by that time in the story, I hate Sykes enough that *I* don't think you can fault her for letting him get killed by that snake.  But that's a call you'll have to make for yourself.