A Woman’s Voice: A Literary Analysis

749 words - 3 pages

Throughout history, society has been predominately patriarchal. The male is seen as the primary authority figure. This system is often displayed in many family structures and there is nothing wrong with patriarchy; however when it leads to kyriarchy, it becomes an issue. Women, past and present, are often viewed as second rate citizens. Over half the work force around the world consists of women and yet they are paid 77 cents to a dollar of what a man earns (Shane). Women have a voice and deserve to be heard. When analyzing works such as “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemmingway, the poem “Stations” by Audre Lorde, and “Sweat” by Zora Neale Hurston, one can observe the common theme ...view middle of the document...

Delia has a fear of snakes and her husband constantly plays on this by throwing his whip at her and bringing home a rattlesnake. She confronts her husband many times knowing that it is worth the risk, even though it could turn physical (Puchalik). Later in the story, he lets the snake loose and places it in her laundry basket. She discovers the snake and lets it out. When her husband comes home, he is bitten by the snake and Delia does nothing to help him when he cries out for help. This event alone could easily be viewed as a turning point for Delia’s life. In this moment, Delia finds her voice and stands up to her abusive husband once and for all. She establishes a new life for herself and is finally granted the independence that she deserves. Free of male oppression. The title of the story alone could represent Delia and her struggles. Sweat is usually associated with hard work and a struggle.
The situations in both “Sweat” and “Hills Like White Elephants” have equal validity. These stories have to do with overcoming opposition by men and standing up for their rights not only as women but human beings. For the young woman in “Elephants” it had to do with her keeping the baby and for Delia it was letting her...

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