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Zora Neale Hurston

The rules of fiction are some of the common strategies and methodologies used to analyze a particular text or story in general. Some of the common variables used in analyzing text fictions include titles and subtitles of the text, first and last sentences used by the author of the story, repeated words in the text, metaphors and similes used, typography, epigraphs, threats and warnings as well as accompanying promises, and spacing and line breaks among others. All these components can be seen in the work of Zora Neale (Hurston, 2009).

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Metaphors and similes stands to be one of the chief instruments a reader can use to analyze and understand Zora’s story. One important metaphor that is repeated in the story is the snake. The use of snake is a figurative language, which any reader needs to give critical weight in order to understand this story fully. For instance, when going through the story critically, it becomes evident that snake is used figuratively to refer to Sykes and all his evil deeds towards his wife Delia. Besides metaphors, any reader is likely to notice the use of threats and warnings directed towards Delia by Sykes. Sykes repeatedly threatened his wife with a snake that he is aware Delia is highly afraid of. What this means is that the reader is likely to conceptualize the kind of relationship and life between the two protagonists (Robert, 1977).

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The use of repetition is also evident in the story and any reader can use it to understand the story in totality. One of the repeated words in the story is the word ‘sweat’. Generally, Zora repeated the word ‘sweat’ to refer to her hard work to find actually a means of supporting her family. It becomes evident that she does her work with a lot of dedication and determination although her husband seems not to see that. Therefore, effective employment of rules for reading fictions is likely to enable the reader to grasp deeper meaning and intentions of the writer (Hurston, 2009).

Besides the rules of fiction, it becomes more important to understand the original intention of the writer. This intention can be understood perfectly when relating the story to the period it was written. It is to be understood that the story was written at a time when racial hatred was still eminent in America and Zora was therefore intent in developing a story that would enable readers to view the world from two perspectives. She does this by presenting the abusive relationship that existed between a husband whom she described as evil and a wife who had God-like qualities. Generally, the original intention of the writer was to manifest good and evil behaviors in America’s most fundamental unit, the family (Robert, 1977).    

Understanding the story could also involve looking at the text of the story systematically. The text in its form uses several styles of literature to convey important messages to the audience. This entails a combination of symbols, metaphors and similes, repetition and epigraphs as already mention in the preceding texts. If anybody familiar with literature writings, they know that it is the writing styles, which make the text more informative and appealing to human conscience (1979).

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The story “Sweat” also seems to have taken into consideration the wider concepts that hold the world together. This entails economic orientation, linguistic foundations, cultural contexts, religion and societal history of these concepts. The writer was much involved in outlaying the economic and religious aspects of society. For instance, the story borrows heavily from biblical teachings such as the snake and the Garden of Gethsemane to show the kinds of life, both Sykes and Delia were having. 

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