Zora Neale Hurston
Things to Consider:
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)
ca. 1918: Morgan Academy
ca. 1920: Howard University
1933: "Gilded Six-Bits"
Mules and Men
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Images of Money
Portrayal of Marriage
Role of Religion
Literary Terms (See Page
Point of View
** Homework Questions **
Why doesn't Sykes want the white folks clothes in the house?
Why does he consider Delia a hypocrite for washing their clothes? Do you agree with him?
Explain: "Mah tub uh suds is filled yo' belly with vittles more times than yo' hands is filled it" (27).
Explain: "Whatever goes over the Devil's back, is got to come under his belly" (29).
Explain: "There's plenty men dat takes a wife lak dey do a joint uh sugar-cane" (31). Is this a simile or an analogy? Both? Explain.
Explain: "The cold river was creeping up and up to extinguish that eye" (40).
Why does Hurston stress the fact that Sykes knows that Delia sees him die?
How does religion fit in here? Does it makes things better or worse? Explain.
Does Sykes get what he deserves? Explain.
Which characteristics of Negro expression are employed by the characters in this story? Provide specific examples.
Other Discussion Questions:
Why does Sykes mistreat Delia so badly?
Why does Delia take Sykes's abuse for so long?
How does irony function in this story? Provide examples.
What is a "spiritual earthworks" (29)?
How is Bertha like an alligator? Explain.
Why does Sykes bring home a rattlesnake? What does the snake represent?
What is the River Jordan?
Is Delia happy that Sykes is dead? Explain.