Spunk Essays

Spunk Summary

SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.  This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of Spunkby Zora Neale Hurston.

Spunk is Zora Neale Hurston’s third published short story and helped launch her career. An influential magazine called Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life encouraged Hurston to submit the story to their fiction writing contest; Spunk won the second place prize. As a result, the story was published in The New Negro: An Interpretation, an anthology of fiction, poetry and essays describing African-American life in the 1920’s. Hurston’s success with the story cemented her role as a preeminent writer in the Harlem Renaissance. The setting is a rural, all-black town in the South much like Hurston’s hometown of Eatonville, Florida. The story centers around a love triangle between a confident man, a weak husband, and his cheating wife.

The story begins with Walter Thomas and Elijah Mosely sitting on the porch of a store. They notice that resident Lena Kanty walks off with “giant of a brown-skinned man” – Spunk, who is not her husband. The men at the store begin talking about the sight, and Spunk himself. They agree that Spunk is a fearless man that takes what he wants. One man describes a time at the sawmill when Spunk bravely took over the operation of a circle-saw after a coworker had just died operating it.

In the middle of the conversation, Lena’s husband Joe Kanty walks into the store. Joe is nothing like Spunk; he is a timid, anxious man that doesn’t defend himself. He knows Lena is having an affair with Spunk, but he’s too afraid to do something about it. The group warns Joe that his marriage is in trouble and he’s in danger of being cuckolded. Elijah in particular tells Joe that the pair of them just passed the store, and that he could do something about it now. Joe pulls a razor out of his pocket and leaves the store in the direction of Lena and Spunk.

The men continue gossiping about the love triangle, surmising that Joe would not fare well in a fight against Spunk. Spunk, after all, operates the dreaded circle-saw which takes a great deal of courage and strength. In the middle of the conversation, the group hears a gunshot from outside. Spunk walks in a few minutes later with a frightened Lena and tells the group that Joe attacked him from behind with a razor and had to kill him. The group of men accuse Elijah for convincing Joe to act, which led to his death.

Spunk eventually goes to trial but is let off on self-defense. He moves in with Lena and they plan to marry, but a number of odd things begin to happen. A black bobcat circles their house one night and howls. Spunk goes out to shoot the animal, but the bobcat stands on its hind legs and stares at Spunk. Frightened, Spunk goes back inside and is convinced that the bobcat is Joe coming back to haunt him and prevent the wedding.

The encounter with the bobcat rattles Spunk and he loses his confidence, trembling in fear wherever he goes. This trembling leads to Spunk having an accident at the mill. Normally an expert at the saw, Spunk accidentally falls on the saw and is cut badly. He swears that he felt a push of some sort and believes it was Joe’s spirit that pushed him.  Spunk dies from his wounds moments later.

The town holds a funeral for Spunk. Lena grieves, but the town secretly begins to gossip about the next man she might take up with.

Spunk is told from an omniscient third-person narration, but much of the story is told through dialogue. The gossiping men of the town are especially important to the narrative as their dialogue reveals much about the three main characters and their actions. Hurston decided to use colloquial English that reflected the way people spoke in the South at the time, a strategy she often used in later writing. While the strategy accurately portrayed the dialects of the time and place, critics debated whether her use of dialectal speech hindered black efforts to assimilate into mainstream society or realistically portrayed the poverty and regionalism of the southern black experience.

The main theme of the story is, like the title, ‘spunk,’ a slang term meaning feistiness or liveliness. This is Spunk’s main personality quirk, that he’s unafraid and spirited. Because of his masculine ‘spunk,’ he wins over the wife of another man. But does he win in the end? For all his spunk, he can’t overcome the superstitious fear that Joe has returned to haunt him. Perhaps it’s this superstition that kills him in the end, leading to the next theme: cowardice. Throughout the story, the townsmen describe Joe as the cowardly one instead of Spunk. By the end of the story, the roles are reversed. Spunk is spooked by what he believes to be the ghost of Joe, who is now the confident and assured presence with spunk.

Spunk Essay

Spunk

A Short story

Written by

Zena Neale Hurston

Analysis Written

By

Jacqueline Baker

Summary

Written in June of 1925, Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston portrays a man who did what he wanted to do and bullied his way around town. This story, set in a small town in Florida is about Spunk Banks, the main character, who took Joe Kanty's wife. The author depicts Spunk to be brash, condescending and literally daring Joe to take his wife back. When the writer showed Joe taking him up on that dare it resulted in his death. The author reveals in the story that there was a trial to no avail. Spunk was not punished for his wrong doing and walked free, or so some thought. Spunk was haunted by Joe in the form of animal and ghost. As a result of Spunk's fear and belief system he killed himself at work on some type of saw machine that many man dared use except for Spunk. In his dying words he stated "It was Joe, 'Lige-the dirty sneak shoved me…he didn't dare come to mah face…but Ah'll git the son-of-wood louse soon's Ah get there an' make hell too hot for him…Ah felt him shove me….!" Then he died.

Analysis

To analyze what the author's message is; one would have to question her belief system. I find that her belief system of ghosts coming back to life interesting, because it not only discussed the character, Joe coming back to life but also showed how Karma can be a part of this as well. In this story the main character Spunk Banks did what he wanted to do without any consequences and continued this way even after murdering a man.

It is debatable whether or not there were any human consequences for Spunk or demons for him to confront. I found because the character Spunk believed so deeply in reincarnation or hants if you will, he believed that Joe, the man he murdered came back in the form of an animal. Later on before he died he believed Joe was a ghost haunting him from hell. Spunk also stated he was going to hell as if he knew what he did was wrong. The story depicts the belief of reincarnation, spirits and their interactions with the living. Christianity would support spirits playing roles in the lives of living (i.e. exorcism). However, currently they do not believe in reincarnation.

Ancient Egypt and Greece, North and South America, India, Tibet, Japan, Australia, Africa, Russia, and many more are people who observe the religious conviction that when one passes on their spirit exists in someone else. Only 25% of the world population believes in this. Knowledge of one's previous lives, which is available to virtually everyone via hypnosis, automatically changes one's...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

Superman vs Batman Essay

766 words - 3 pages Superman vs Batman Look up in the sky. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane. No, it’s Superman. No. Wait. Maybe it’s the Bat signal. Metropolis and Gotham city each have their own unique super heroes that save them daily from evil villains trying to take over the world. Both superheroes have been quite successful over the years in doing so. Batman and Superman. Two household names that strike fear into any evil doers heart, if...

A Child Called It Essay

710 words - 3 pages A Child Called ‘It’      A Child Called ‘It’ is the story of a young boy who, in order to survive, must triumph over the physical, emotional, and medical abuse created by his mother. The exploitation of alcohol plays an important role in the abuse by the mother and the neglect to see and the courage to intervene the problems by Dave’s father. Dave considered the abuse he endured by his mother, ‘games’. But he always tried to be one small...

Analyse the importance of Winston and Julia's relationship in the novel.

706 words - 3 pages Analyse the importance of Winston and Julia's relationship in the novel. How does it contrast with the oppressive regime around them? Question 1. Analyse the importance of Winston and Julia's relationship in the novel. How does it contrast with the oppressive regime around them? In the novel Winston Smith was a quiet man in his late thirties , something of and intellectual , who nurses a secret hatred of the party in the face of the...

"A Child Called It" By Dave Pelzer.

831 words - 3 pages A Child Called 'It' is the story of a young boy who, in order to survive, must triumph over the physical, emotional, and medical abuse created by his mother. The misuses of alcohol play an important role in the neglect and abuse that Dave's mother inflicted on him. Alcohol also had an impact on Dave's father's ability to intervene on Dave's behalf. Dave considered the abuse he...

A Worn Path by Eudora Welty Explanation of displays of bravery, love and slyness that will help her dying grandson.

872 words - 3 pages In Eudora Welty?s ?A Worn Path,? an old African-American grandmother has set out on a journey for life. Her sightless eyes have turned blue with age, and wrinkles have enveloped her forehead. Simply dressed in an apron made of bleached sugar sacks, she has set out upon her excursion, over...

How to Sell Your Writing

820 words - 3 pages So you like to write—and be heard. You’ve got your own blog, you participate in your local school newspaper, or you might even scribble a few thoughts on your freedom board. However, after a while, you noticed that nobody likes the way you put your ideas on paper. After all, you might be writing like this: “The results of our examination might yield gargantuan—if not cataclysmic—effects on my future disposition.” The main problem with this...

A Rasin In The Sun

781 words - 3 pages A Raisin In The Sun To many, the primary purpose of life is to live the dreams. Dreams are the key to joys and sorrows of life. Walter realized his dream of becoming a business owner could not be...

Jim's influence on Huck Finn

915 words - 4 pages Mark Twain is phenomenal at subtly implementing his own beliefs into his writing, and into the heads of his methodical characters. In the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Twain implies many themes from that time period into his writing. As he does so, he plants one of the most important themes into the head of the young character of Huckleberry Finn. That theme is moral and government laws. This theme drives the story, creates personal...

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

1253 words - 5 pages “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank opens the reader’s eyes to the world of a teenage girl living in hiding during World War II. In this dairy, the day-to-day life of young Anne appears along with her hopes, fears, and deepest thoughts. The reader learns how drastically a life changes at any moment. This book serves as evidence of the suffering of the Jews living in Europe in the years of 1942-1944. The reader learns valuable lessons from...

The Rocket

1186 words - 5 pages The Rocket 5Running Head: FRENCH CANADIAN DISCRIMINATIONThe Rocket: A Film Review Depicting a Theme of French Canadian DiscriminationJessica Marasco0348583Dr. Michel JohnsonKINE 101011/05/07The film "The Rocket" is the biographical story of hockey legend Maurice...

Perception in Business

1115 words - 4 pages IntroductionPerception is an important factor in organizational behavior. Perception can determine what a person believes, whether it is true or not. There are many different types of perception, such as the projection, halo effect and selective perception. Perception can affect the decision-making-process in an organization and can directly affect...

0 Replies to “Spunk Essays”

Lascia un Commento

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *