Have you ever protected someone that’s being bullied? Or give some change for a homeless man to buy food?
In today’s society, acts of compassion are rare as we get more and more focused on satisfying our desire for success and wealth. However, humans do sometimes show remarkable acts that melts the hearts of men and women and restore faith in humanity within those who are less optimistic. But it might not always be a kind return that you may get from such action. In the story “Sweat” by Barry Webster, a young girl named Sue allows Jimmy as an act of kindness to lick her “honey” on her body. As a result, Jimmy chokes from the honey and Sue gets more rejected from the other students at her school. By using characterization, dialogue and narration, Webster demonstrates the theme that compassion and kindness can bring more consequences than benefits when these actions are done by those who are different.
The characterization of Sue illustrates her as a different kind of girl. Sue is stronger than most girls and boys of her age. During a shop class, Sue claims: ``unlike the other students, even the boys, I could whack the silver heads straight on so the iron rods thrust in without bending`` (4). Logically, if she is able to whack nails strait in one shot while other students could not, she could probably overpower anyone in her class, which is very unusual for a normal girl. Jimmy, a guy in her class, goes as far as claiming: ``If we had an arm wrestle (…) I bet you`d win`` (9). This remark clearly shows how powerful Sue is for her age. Also, Sue exhibits some unique characteristics such as her “honey” sweat. Dr. Merton claimed that “[the sweat’s] composition [was] similar to […] bee honey” (1). This statement made it very clear that she was different from most thirteen year old girl of her age since she sweats honey. The differences between Sue’s body and those who surround her are very different, making her a target since she’s alone, isolated from others due to her physical difference.
In “Sweat”, the first person narrative point of view points to Sue’s good intention. Although Sue seems tough and “different” from others of her age, she is kind and compassionate. She is nice enough to give chances to people that others would not. After agreeing to a date with Jimmy, she questions herself:” Was I the first girl who hadn’t run away from him in terror?”(5). This situation illustrates Sue’s compassion towards Jimmy. Jimmy was probably scary and no one except Sue would accept him. Sue also demonstrates that she would let herself utilized if it procured enjoyment for others. While Jimmy makes sure the crowd sees him with her, Sue...