Why do you think Delia stays with Sykes after he has been so abusive towards her?

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  • Delia probably stays with Sykes after he has been so abusive to her because within that time period women did not typically divorce their husbands.
  • She also has a personality that suggests that she upholds commitments and will bear through difficult times.
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In Hurston's short story, "Sweat," Delia leads a very hard life. She labors over other people's laundry while her husband goes around town with another woman. Sykes is abusive to her and torments her every chance he gets. Hurston doesn't give much textual evidence as to why Delia would stay with him; however, we can make some assumptions. During that time, the 1920s, women didn't often leave their husbands--it was unconventional for that time. This could be part of the reason. Another possible reason is because Delia is the type of person who will bear things that are difficult. She also seems as though she upholds commitments. She is consistently at work on Sundays even though this is a day of rest and she married her husband, so seems to be committed to stay with him regardless of how he treats her.

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