Zora Neale Hurston, author of the Gilded Six Bits, has a very unique writing style. The artistry in her story makes it a pleasant, easy read for any audience. The title suggests the story is based around money; but rather if one were to dig deeper the reality of the story is being told around the playfulness of money. Character disposition, an idealistic dialect, and the ability to work past an issue all work together to prove that Joe and Missie May’s lives are not strictly revolved around money.
Hurston’s characters have idealistic dialect for an African American in that time period; correctly depicting any stereotypes that might fall on the situation. The slang and slurs used throughout the characters dialogue makes the tale more realistic and believable. “Nope, sweetenin’ is for us men-folks. Y’all pritty lil frail eels don’t need nothin’ lak dis. You too sweet already” (987). This type of language appeals to me because of the fascination of a thick mock southern dialect. It is interesting to read the words and be able to hear the dialect sounded in your head. The language in this story helps the theme become more effective because it is obvious that they are less educated than most individuals. Typically, it is understood that the less educated have less money and money has always been known as the “root of all evil”.
Gayl Jones suggests, “Not only does the dialect have more functions but it is used in a story of greater complexity of character, greater thematic range and literary sophistication. Though the people themselves are “simple” in the sense of being “ordinary folks,” their range is more than sentimental or comic emotion.” The dialogue in this story helps to move the narrative along and give it additional character. The dialogue does not put the story on hold, taking you away from the situation, but rather pushes it along explaining in detail what is happening. “Humph! Ah’m way behind time t’day! Joe gointer be heah ‘fore Ah git mah clothes on if ah don’t make haste” (985). Hurston could have told the reader that Missie May was running late, plain and simple, but rather she uses dialogue to introduce the character and show the reader her role in society; as an uneducated African American.
In the very beginning of the story Hurston explains that money is nothing more than a game to this married couple. “…She knew that it was her husband throwing silver dollars in the door for her to pick up and pile beside her plate at dinner. It was this way every Saturday afternoon. The nine dollars hurled into the open door, he scurried to a hiding place behind the cap jasmine bush and waited. Missie May promptly appeared at the door in mock alarm” (986). Joe would throw money to Missie May encouraging her to give chase after him, in a playful concoction of hide-n-go-seek and tag. To fall as a cliché story it would be assumed that this couple would quarrel over money rather than view it as a toy and play with the coins. This shows that...