​Discuss the Modernist aspects

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Discuss the Modernist aspects in Hemingway’s story https://lirroaringtwenties.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/… , as outlined in the “Modernism and Harlem Renaissance” PowerPoint “attached” and Modernism link http://www.online-literature.com/periods/modernism… in Assigned Readings.

Then skip a space and discuss how Hurston’s story https://biblioklept.org/2013/01/21/sweat-zora-neal… aligns with what you’ve learned about both Modernism and the Harlem Renaissance.

Skip a space again, and next, consider what the major differences are in these stories, and whether you see any similarities in theme, or stylistic approach.


Then respond to one Student

In addition to the post, please post one paragraph-length that respond to specific points made in your peers’ posts. You may agree or disagree, but be sure to respond with an aim towards deepening class discussions, not being “right” or correcting anyone.

Student #1

“Hills like White Elephants” heavily carries the ambiguous endings that are present in many modernist writings, as throughout the short story, the reader is told about an operation that a man (dubbed the “American”) believes Jig should go through with. However, despite this operation being the focal point of discussion and cause of conflict between the two characters, the reader is left to guess as to what exactly the operation is, as it’s never revealed and left open for the reader to try to find their own conclusions, even as to whether or not the couple will go through it (as the conversation goes back and forth on that matter). This aspect aligns with the openendeness that modernist stories are known for.

“Sweat”, on the other hand, deals with the faithlessness and cynicisms present in reality, or in this particular aspect, the toxic relationship between Delia and her husband Sykes. Sykes openly cheats on Delia with a girl named Bertha, and acts entirely out of self interest and pride (buying rattlesnakes to terrify Delia, and beating her to display dominance, etc.) regardless of the feelings of his wife. Other aspects of Modernism/the Harlem Renaissance made apparent through “Sweat” is the exploration of the African American life experience, with racial features being apparent, such as the fact that Sykes hates how Delia serves white people by washing their clothes, and makes threats on her to stop helping them out. However, it is the only means on which food is able to be placed on the table so it’s not quite possible.

Major differences in these two stories include the approach to storytelling. As mentioned before, “Hills like White Elephants” leaves a lot to the imagination and conveys very little to the reader, while “Sweat” is a lot more of a straightforward story with a ending that is more “neat and tidy” (as neat as tidy as hearing your husband deservedly die to a rattlesnake goes anyways). Disillusionment is an modernist aspect where the two stories align with one another, as the disappointing feeling from discovering something is not as good as one believed or hoped for it to be is presented through both of the marriages/relationships of the two main characters in both of these stories. Jig is contemplating on whether or not she and the American’s relationship will ever be made happy through this unknown procedure (as it’s made apparent that their relationship isn’t going so great and that there is a lot of tension and unhappiness present in both of them through their dialogue with one another). In terms of the story, “Sweat”, Delia discovers the disappointing reality that is her husband’s abusive and cheating self a few months after their marriage, which started off not so bad.

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