Introduction & Overview of Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston

This Study Guide consists of approximately 32 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Spunk.
This section contains 297 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Spunk Study Guide

Spunk Summary & Study Guide Description

Spunk Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston.

"Spunk" was only the third short story Zora Neale Hurston published, and it was immediately successful. She had been encouraged to come to New York City by Charles S. Johnson, the editor of the National Urban League's influential magazine, Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life, because Johnson had published her second story, "Drenched in Light," and recognized her talent. At Johnson's urging, Hurston entered "Spunk" in Opportunity's 1925 literary contest and took second prize for fiction. (A play she submitted, Color Struck, took second prize for drama.) The story was published in the June 1925 issue of the magazine, and Hurston's career was launched. Later that year, the story was included in The New Negro: An Interpretation, an anthology of fiction, poetry, and essays edited by Alain Locke, a former philosophy professor of Hurston's at Howard University. The anthology became one of a handful of important and widely read collections of the Harlem Renaissance, demonstrating the best of the new writing coming out of black America.

The story takes place in a rural, all-black Southern town, much like Eatonville, Florida, where Hurston grew up. It is the story of a confident man who steals a weaker man's wife, and how the husband gets his revenge after death. Like many of Hurston's stories, it deals with the nature of marriage and with a struggle between a strong man and a weak one. Much of the story is told in dialogue, and the characters speak in a Southern African American dialect with rich, figurative language. Early critics of Hurston's work were divided on her use of this kind of language: some were delighted that she was celebrating the language she had heard first-hand, and others felt she was advancing her career by presenting demeaning black stereotypes to a white audience.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 297 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Spunk Study Guide
Copyrights
Short Stories for Students
Spunk from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.