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Close Reading Anylsis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jdill
Words 869
Pages 4
Jocelyn Dill
Professor Samuels
English 102-05
23 October 2012

Close Reading Analysis: The Gilded Six-Bits

In Zora Neale Hurston’s short story “The Gilded Six-Bits,” there are many aspects that can be analyzed. However, I found it interesting that the act of objectification is reoccurring in this story from beginning to end. Objectification means to make a person or thing into an object rather than a human being or what it is. The character, Otis D. Slemmons, plays a very pivotal part in this story. His perception of wealth also plays an important role since the whole turning point of the storyline happens because of it. Mister Slemmon’s wealth and possessions cause everyone to be drawn to him. He himself allows women to treat him as an object rather than a person. Joe is extremely mesmerized by Slemmons. As soon as he hears of his presence, Joe can’t say enough about him to Missie May. She even gets to the point of exhaustion with Joe going on and on. “‘A new man done come heah from Chicago and he done got a place and took and opened it up for an ice cream parlor’” (Hurston 285). “‘Yeah he’s up to date. He got de finest clothes ah ever seen on a colored man’s back’” (Hurston 285). Slemmons is a symbol of wealth and admiration. He is also the cause of all the drama that takes place in this story. Missie May gives us the impression that she is a loyal, faithful wife to Joe. However, after Slemmons comes to town, we learn that is not true. Slemmons is so used to having whatever woman he wants, so even Missie May is not off limits. She is blinded by his wealth along with everyone else. Because of this, she allows herself to become an object to Slemmons. She has an affair with him, but not only that, he has objectified her by paying for her, and treating her like a prostitute. “‘Oh Joe, honey, he said he wuz gointer give me dat gold money and…...

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