Sweat Essay

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In the following essay excerpt, Champion discusses gender oppression in "Sweat," and its symbolically negative outcome.

Even more than "The Gilded Six-Bits," "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...

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This section contains 1,684 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sweat Study Guide
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Gale
Sweat from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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