Essay on Zora Neale Hurston, the Gilded Six Bits

Published: 2021/12/06
Number of words: 1499


“Cause Ah love you so hard and Ah know you don’t love me no mo’ (Hurston 79)

The quote referees to a scenario in the short story when Missie is sure that Joe would not forgive her after he found her cheating. It is an indication of the theme of betrayal that is evident in the book. The fact is she messed and to her, it does occur that Joe might not forgive him. This leaves the reader wondering what could happen to the couple that has experienced betrayal. Missie makes the statement reassuring Joe of her love for him even though there was a misunderstanding (Hurston 79). She speaks with certainty that she has messed doubting whether Joe can take the nonsense and move on. The author is focused on using literary devices to help narrate a short love story between the two lovers.

Background Information

The short story “The Gilded Six Bits” by Zora Neale was published in the year 1933 and followed a newly wedded couple, narrating challenges that their love story goes through. Nora is focused on applying literary devices to depict what most relationships and what couples undergo in marriage. The story indicates betrayal when one of the partners is lured into having sex for money (Jackson 639). Trust issues crop up in the marriage, which makes Missie doubt whether Joe loves her anymore. The piece was chosen due to its intriguing nature, especially with suspense all over in the book. Equally, the piece discusses issues that affect most people in the society, which makes it an interesting piece to examine. The author of the story is well known for writing detailed stories that educate society on various matters. The short story by Zora is interesting to read understand issues that are experienced in relationships.

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The story is relevant in the sense that couples undergo challenges that test their trust in one another. For instance, economic problems prompted Missie to cheat on her husband, something that led to the loss of trust between the two. The story presented in the novel is similar to what happens to many people in their daily lives (Jackson 640). Relationships have become materialistic to the extent of compromising their relations for money and other favors. Equally, looks can be deceiving as Missie is attracted to a different person of style. The result is that trust is lost between the two, and it takes time for them to heal. The story is relevant as it is similar to life happens and theatrics of a love relationship.

The novel is studied to shed light on what happens in relationships and strategies that can be used to handle such matters. Importantly, the themes that are presented in the novel are real-life issues that people encounter in their daily lives. For instance, the fact that the couple is not in terms but gets along later is indicative of resilience. People in society must understand that in relationships, there is trust, love and happiness (Jackson 641). All the themes are presented in a detailed manner, which is important in educating society. Individuals who learn from the book can handle various problems in a relationship. Studying and analyzing the novel by Zora can help sensitize society on matters relationships and dating.

Thesis Statement: To examine Zora Neale Hurston’s life as an author and critically discuss her literary career.


It is important to examine the author’s life from childhood to his education and adulthood in a bid to establish some facts about her. Zora Neale Hurston was born in the year 1903 in Florida to John and Lucy Hurston. He grew up in good family life until her mother passed on when her father decided to remarry. She was at the age of 9, and the father forced her into an education centre in Florida (Carpio and Sollors 557). She found herself moving from one relative to another since she could not put up with her stepmother. She schooled at Jacksonville, and when she became a teen, she worked as a wardrobe girl. Her childhood life was faced with challenges until her first employer, Gilbert and Sullivan repertory company, recommended her to join Morgan Academy. She started attracting attention because of her great sense of humor and intellect, which could prove helpful in the industry. Her commitment and determination overpowered the hardships that she underwent in childhood, a fact that saw her gain fame in her work.

Zora joined Morgan Academy in Baltimore, Maryland in the year 2017, which was eighteen months after she had gotten her first job. She graduated a year later from the Morgan Academy and joined Howard University where she did one and a half of the course work from the year 1919 to 1924. Zora was lucky to get a scholarship that took her to Barnard College, where she completed her first degree in the year 1928. She opted to study human culture and folklore at Columbia University (McClaurin 49). Zora later won awards on various trips and contributions that he made in the field of literature. Her application of literary devices makes any piece of literature interesting and hence her popularity in work of art (Carpio and Sollors 557). It is important to understand how her education life to know how she built her career. Her adulthood is comprised of her career and professional practices. She wrote and published stories that took readers by storm, making her one of the most successful writers to ever live.

Zora Neale Hurston started her literary career at Howard University where she wrote her first story for Stylus, which was a college magazine. Her work of writing stories continued, and in 1925, she won an award in the Opportunity Literary contest for spunk. In the year 1939, she was awarded a doctorate honorary degree from Morgan College. Zora committed to her work and won an anniversary award for her autobiographical “Dust Trucks on the Road” in the year 1943. She was later in the year given an alumni award from the same institution due o her hard work. She had begun her writing as she was passionate about matters that affect society, especially in marriages. To her, literature is the best way that one can approach a social problem within the community. Her most famous novel is “TheirEyes were Watching God”, which was published in the year 1937 that depicts an African American female who wants to rediscover herself.

Her novel “The Six Gilded Bits” is an intriguing piece to read for many people within the society. The novel was written in the year 1933, depicting a love story that turns sour, and the couple can fix their issues again. Themes presented in the piece of work are relevant for many people in marriage or a relationship. The novel was written to act as a guide for couples who develop problems in their relationship (Carpio and Sollors 557). For instance, the fact that Missie cheats on Joe for gold pieces is an indication of infidelity that is experienced in society. The novel is written in an American context, depicting issues that affect couples in the society.

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Zora Neale Hurston’s literary career has faced criticism from other author in literature for they considered her approach backward (McClaurin 49). The American society is advanced, and the fact that she drew her illustrations from an African American perspective made other authors rubbish her work. To them, she had not done much research to guarantee her a detailed assertion on various matters within society.


To sum it up, the paper examines Zora Neale Hurston’s life as an author and critically discusses her literary career. Her work of art gained momentum upon commitment and criticism of social issues that exist in society. Zora has done some novels, which have gained her popularity and other awards, as they have made an impact globally and in the American society. The novel is informative of current issues that happen within the society and forms an important piece that can educate many. The piece is valid for people to read and draw comparisons to the experiences they face in their lives. Zora Neale Hurston is a well-known female author in American society who drew the attention of many people due to her literary style.

Works Cited

Carpio, Glenda R., and Werner Sollors. “Five Harlem Short Stories by Zora Neale Hurston.” Amerikastudien/American Studies 55.4 (2010): 557-560.

Evans, Robert C. “Class and Complexity in Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘The Gilded Six-Bits.’.” A Class of Its Own: Re-envisioning American Labor Fiction (2008): 156.

Hurston, Zora Neale. “The Gilded Six-Bits.” 1933.” The Norton Anthology of African American Literature: 1011-19.

Jackson, Chuck. “Waste and whiteness: Zora Neale Hurston and the politics of eugenics.” African American Review 34.4 (2000): 639-660.

McClaurin, Irma. “Zora Neale Hurston: Enigma, Heterodox, and Progenitor of Black Studies.” Fire!!!: The Multimedia Journal of Black Studies 1.1 (2012): 49-67.

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