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Was She Right or Wrong? The Story of Delia Jones

By Manuela Correa

Throughout my whole high school and college life, I have had to read a lot of stories, books and readings. I liked most of them, and others I do not want to remember, honestly. You are probably asking why.

They did not have that “spice.” That little piece that wakes up my emotions, and my desire to

keep reading without getting tired of it. In sum, I did not like them because those were not stories of my interest.

Some of my teachers used to tell my classmates and I, “you are bad readers,” just because we did not like what they assigned us to read. I do not believe that someone can be a “bad reader.” That person should look for readings that bring excitement to their mind. For instance, there is one story that stole my heart, literally.

“Sweat” is a story written by Zora Neale Hurston in 1926. It is about a married couple, Skyes

and Delia Jones. Delia worked as a wash woman. The author describes how Skyes abuses his

wife physically and psychologically. For instance, he cheats on her with a woman called Bertha, he beats her, and he threw a snake at her just to scare her. He thought it was funny.

Everybody in town was aware of his behavior and they were not happy about it. All the

characters had a southern accent and a different kind of pronunciation, which made me learn to read carefully so I could understand what the characters wanted to say. At the end, the snake bites Skyes but Delia did not help him. Instead, she watches and lets him die.

Honestly, I was impressed by Neale’s story. The topic, the plot sequence and the way the story is written. I like how the author edits the story to establish facts in the past and reveals them later. This masterpiece showed the reality that a lot women are still living on a daily basis in their homes in 2021.

Delia’s decision to let her husband die can be clearly understood. Imagine your significant other abusing you for years, to the point that you let karma put him or her in their place. I understand if some people do not agree with my opinion, but that is totally fine with me. Some of you would say, “I could have helped him after all the damage,” “I do not care what he did in the past, I would have saved him” but I do not stand by that. It is not hate, but there are boundaries as human beings we must respect, and we cannot break.

Now, I have two questions for you:

Do you agree with Delia’s decision?

What would you do in Delia’s place?

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