THE GILDED SIX-BITS," FIRST PUBLISHED IN Story, AUGUST 1933, is Zora Neale Hurston's last short story before she became a novelist with the publication of Jonah's Gourd Vine in 1934.
Of Hurston he asserts that her "most impressive tale, 'The Gilded Six-Bits,' portrays the triumph of rural over urban values.
It was a Negro yard around a Negro house," Hurston begins "The Gilded Six-Bits," "in a Negro settlement that looked to the payroll of the G.
In "The Gilded Six-Bits," however, rather than addressing a moral failing on the part of her main characters, Hurston uses gilded money and Otis D.
In "The Gilded Six-Bits," Missie May, and Joe, to a lesser extent, allow corrupt desires to replace their innocent acceptance of their native cultural values.
In "The Gilded Six-Bits," Hurston wove a moral tale from the universal elements of love, betrayal, and love regained.
Gayl Jones, in her comments on the use of dialect in "The Gilded Six-Bits," notes that Hurston was the first writer who moved beyond the conventions of the frame to incorporate elements of dialect in the narrative of her story.
Joe's character rarely receives close attention from scholars who have commented on "The Gilded Six-Bits," and among those who do mention him, he shoulders little responsibility for the near destruction of the Bankses' marriage.
1) Zora Neale Hurston, "The Gilded Six-Bits," in The Complete Stories of Zora Neale Hurston, ed.
As in Jonah and "The Gilded Six-Bits," "Sweat" begins with a scene of washing: Delia Jones, a "washwoman," "squat[s] in the kitchen floor beside the great pile of clothes, sorting them into great heaps according to color" (955).
The story goes on to detail the difficult relationship between Delia and Sykes, incorporating a narrative of sexual infidelity (as in "The Gilded Six-Bits," only with a reversal of genders).