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Describing Marriage as the ‘Menace’ in Society (Essay Sample)


instructions from the client
• How would you describe the theme in Hurston’s short story “Spunk”? How is theme revealed through the setting, characters, and/or symbolism in the story/ stories?

Instructions for writing your essay:
• Your essay must be at least 700 words, typed and double-spaced in Times New Roman 12 point font.
• Your paper must include at least 3 quotations but no more than 5 (at least one to support each body paragraph) from the poem/ story you are writing on. These quotations should provide evidence for your thesis and you must explain the significance of each quote. These quotations should be no longer than 2 lines each, and can be as short as one word.
• You must use proper in-text citations (see page 1706 in your textbook or OWL for the proper format) and document the correct page numbers therein. Don’t forget to include your Works Cited page!
• Do NOT simply summarize the story. Your work should exhibit thoughtful literary analysis.
• Your essay should draw from your personal analysis of the work(s) and from nowhere else! You should do no outside research for this assignment.
• Your paper should include a proper introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, body paragraphs in which you will provide evidence for your thesis, and a conclusion which restates your thesis (in a new and exciting way) and tells your readers why your analysis is important to the overall poem/ story.
• Please review your list of literary terms and incorporate those which are appropriate to your topic into your analysis.


Marriage; the ‘menace’ in society
Marriage; the ‘menace’ in society
In her short story "Spunk'', Zora Neale Hurston sheds light on how Marriage is viewed in society. Through the characters in her short story, she can make us understand how delicate the issue of Marriage is. If not well nurtured, then promiscuity sets in and can lead to catastrophic incidences among those involved. It is in this respect that we discuss Marriage, the 'menace' in society.
Zora begins her story narration by painting a picture of two people in love walking in public holding one another. The characters are identified as Spunk Banks and Lena kanty. The author goes ahead to mention that Lena Kanty is married to Joe Kanty. We first encounter the theme of Marriage from her; from the narration, we are keen to identify that Lena has even adopted the name 'Kanty' of her husband, Joe Kanty. We left to wonder how Spunk and Lena are walking shamelessly in public, holding each other like two people in love?
Marriage is sacred in any given society, and any promiscuous behaviours through unacceptable are done in secret. It is therefore surprising that the author decides to portray the illicit behaviour publicly. The author paints a picture of Lena and Spunk as shameless individuals in society. Lena being Joe’s wife, is not expected to elicit such kind of behaviour. The author decides to focus on the problems that invade the sanctity of Marriage. The shameless behaviour depicted by Lena and Spunk parading their illicit affair affects Joe and eventually her Marriage. It is for this reason that we argue. Marriage is a 'menace' in society.
The author paints Joe Kanty as a coward, unable to defend himself. He is not able to rightfully claim what is his. Elijah Mosley, a character in the story, narrates how Joe is unable even to hurt a fly. When Joe Kanty walks to the store where the other men gossip about the happenings in the town, the men keep quiet. They are talking about his wife, who is shamelessly walking with another man, something Joe is aware of but unable to do anything. Zora intends to paint a devastated man unable to protect his Marriage, which is why the village men find something to gossip on. Elijah even has the guts to enquire from Joe about his wife. It is this mocking that frustrates Joe, and he promises to fight for his Marriage. The men wonder how possible it would be for such a small, round-shouldered man' can fight 'a giant of a brown-skinned man.' At this point, he informs them of his intention to use a razor as a weapon.

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