Sweet vs The Storm: Compare & Contrast
The story “Sweet” by Hurston explains thoughts about love along with hatred through subjugation. The major characters in all the stories demonstrate male influence and mistreatment all championed through love feelings. The problems experienced by the female characters in the story are a result of male domination through each one of them experience and uses different approaches in solving them. The story also clearly reveals that race plays no significant role when it comes to matters involving emotions (HelpMe.com, 2014).
The story is very compelling to the extent that it is difficult to certainly, determine emotion. There is clear evidence of the effects of male domination and oppression on love and hatred feelings. Females appear to be struggling to admire men with excessive power over them though, in the end, they manage to break away and relieve themselves from the oppression they were receiving from them. There are thus opposing forces between love and the need to seek freedom from oppression from men. For example, Delia is working to maintain both himself and her husband but most often moves out and spends all the money with Bertha. Though she says she hates her husband, there is an attractive connection that reveals that she still loves him (HelpMe.com, 2014).
Spiritual symbolism dominates throughout the story in that good and evil play the most significant role in developing the main characters, Skype and Delia. Delia, an American lady of African origin, constantly relies on religious guidance as a means of dealing with the oppression of her husband. Delia’s moral values are totally opposite to those of her husband Skype but the two are living together because of the marital vow between them. The marital vow does not play any significant role in Delia’s life as her husband is not morally upright. However, Delia demonstrates high moral behavior and relies on God to guide her in solving the problems caused by her husband. Seeing Delia washing white clothes is a symbol of her excellent character of humbleness and patience towards the oppression she receives. On the other hand, snake and thrash symbolize the evil character of Skype (HelpMe.com, 2014).
There is suspense throughout the story due to Delia’s tongue-tied silence on Skype’s actions and conduct and she kept on staying with him. At the beginning of the story, Delia does not say anything after Skype has threatened her. She tells Skype that she was not moving out of the house as she holds a frying pan to defend herself if Skype tries to beat her (HelpMe.com, 2014). The suspense here is obviously the greatest thing as one may imagine that Delia was going to stand firm for herself. Here Delia reveals that their marriage was fifteen years old and that Skype started beating her just two weeks after marriage. We question ourselves that how can one preserver such beatings for fifteen years and just rise up in one single day and say no more? What made her change suddenly? What made her tell Skype that she was no longer going to allow him to continue her unfaithful behavior?
Just like “sweet” of Hurston, “the storm” of Chopin continues to describe the sexuality of women and the complexity of the institution of marriage. Here, Bobinot, a husband to Calixta, and their son Bibi are all in town at a time storm strikes. Calixta, being alone at home tries to close the windows and doors when Alcee, her former lover, arrives to seek shelter against the rain. As the rain continues the two renewed their obsessive feelings for one another and finally had sex. After the storm abated, Alcee departed and Calixta welcomed back her family. We, therefore, see that the passing of the storm left both Alcee and Calixta happy (HelpMe.com, 2014).
The storm, as a story does not portray a negative feeling against adultery and the event does not produce negative results but very positive results for all the characters. Alcee, Calixta, and her family all positively benefiting from the act, since Alcee and Calixta satisfy their sexual desires and the Calixta family receives a warm invitation into the house. We see that the sexual experience of the woman strengthened her and instead of abandoning his family, he accepts them and welcomes them (HelpMe.com, 2014).
Both “the sweet” and “the storm” reveal the issue of unfaithfulness in marriage. In the former story, it is the man that betrays the woman by engaging in an extramarital affair while in the latter story it is the woman that commits adultery. This clearly describes the real behavior in our marriages where not all the time unfaithfulness is committed by men but both men and women fall victim to the problem. It also reveals that not all the times the act cultivates negative feelings and separation but sometimes it brings joy and love (HelpMe.com, 2014).
In Sweet, the unfaithfulness of the man makes him more irresponsible to her wife and thus causing misery and suffering to her partner. The woman, knowing that her husband engages in extramarital affairs becomes unhappy and warns the husband. On the other hand, in the Storm, the woman does it unnoticed and becomes happy and responsible to her family and hence sharing her happiness with them. Sweet portrays a weak miserable woman while storm portrays a strong and happy woman. The Storm, therefore, focuses on what happens mostly in the society free from the religious setting highly relied on in the Sweet (HelpMe.com, 2014).
The Storm is more relevant to the current world as we find that during the first time when Chopin wrote the book, he did not publish it knowing that at that time nobody could accept such an idea in a male-dominated society portrayed by Sweet. Also, Sweet does not adequately focus on reality but mostly on religion as we do not expect a woman in the real world to persevere such kind of life for such a long period on problems that started immediately just after marriage.