SWEAT PASS - SWEAT PASS: Socioeconomics in Relationships...

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SWEAT PASS : Socioeconomics in Relationships Public sphere is outside the home while interacting with strangers. Men are afforded this right, making it possible to be defined by what they do. This in turn keeps them outside the home around the clock; going throughout the world making a name for them. This adaptation leaves their families dependant on their success in doing so. Society gives men power when reached within seeking success. It’s a right of passage defining the difference between MEN and MICE fueling egos at the same time. Domestic sphere is within the house while enriching the strength of families maintaining all. Women unlike are defined by their sexuality; whether a mother or wife they can be restricted to what they can do as a female. Women portray nurturing roles and even priceless figurines/dolls that are more possessions than equals. Also their travels are linear or pre-defined by their roles delineated through survival of families. ‘‘Sweat’’ exposes gender oppression by revealing the plight of women in a sexist society. The protagonist, Delia, works long hours washing laundry for white customers, whose economic privilege is contrasted with Delia’s economic status: not only can she not afford to hire someone to wash her laundry, but she must also wash wealthy people’s laundry to provide for herself. While the story demonstrates the disparity of wealth between the wealthy Winter Park whites and the poor Eatonville blacks, the main plot of the story does not center on this form of economic exploitation, but rather upon how Delia’s husband, Sykes, exploits her. Ironically, throughout the course of the story, sweat signifies Delia’s exploited labor and Sykes’s poisoned mental state that ultimately leads to the physical poisoning that kills him. Additionally, ‘‘Sweat’’ exposes gender
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oppression and economic exploitation by suggesting that ‘‘what goes around comes around.’’ The story opens with a technical description of Delia’s labor that reveals that she works long hours every day of the week. Early on, the narrative establishes that Sykes both physically and mentally torments Delia. Scolding him for scaring her by sliding across her knee a bullwhip that she thinks is a snake, Delia says she may die from his foolishness. More interestingly, she asks him, ‘‘where you been wid mah rig? Ah feeds dat pony,’’ informing him that the pony belongs to her and that she pays for its upkeep. He responds by reminding her that he has told her repeatedly ‘‘to keep them white folks’ clothes outa dis house’’ and by claiming that she should not ‘‘wash white folks clothes on the Sabbath.’’ Although the argument begins with a physical scare, it soon turns to a
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SWEAT PASS - SWEAT PASS: Socioeconomics in Relationships...

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