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Appearance Versus Reality

Essay by   •  October 17, 2010  •  633 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,110 Views

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In The Gilded Six-Bits, Hurston uses the theme of appearance versus reality to suggest that things aren't as simple as they appear to be. Hurston writes this story to depict her own life, morals, and her culture. As we take a closer look into Hurston's life we will come to comprehend the story not only on a literal level but a personal level as well. We will also see the many symbols and themes illustrated in the story of true love, incomprehensible forgiveness, and certain circumstances that would change the life of two people forever.

Hurston's rocky marriage was a major contribution to the story and could possibly symbolize how she wanted her own story to end. Hurston was married and divorced twice. Her first marriage, on May 19, 1927, was to Herbert Sheen, a jazz pianist, singer, and medical student; the two divorced shortly after on July 7, 1931. Zora Neale Hurston wrote The Gilded Six-Bits shortly after this tragic hardship.

Another influential factor in the story is Hurston's life as an African American in the Harlem Renissance. The Harlem Renaissance was a period in which black artists explored their culture and showed pride in their race. This was expressed in literature, music and other art forms. Hurston and her stories about Eatonville became important during the Harlem Renaissance. The setting of The Gilded Six Bits, Eatonville Florida, was also a place of residence for Hurston throughout her life. Zora was born at a time of racial tensions between blacks and whites in the southern United States. She never felt angry about being black. In her stories, she described Eatonville as a place where black Americans could live as they pleased (www.manythings.org).

There are many literal themes in the story as well as the earlier mentioned themes. Hurston introduces the theme of appearances and reality in the first lines of the story. On the surface of things, the couple's yard is nothing but a ''Negro yard around a Negro house in a Negro settlement that looked to the payroll of the G and G Fertilizer works for its support.'' Hurston goes on to welcome readers inside the couple's home, describing

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