by Zora Neale Hurston
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Verses Written by a Young Lady, on Women Born to Be Controll'd!
Written anonymously (though by a female poet, if the title is true; women often signed writing as anonymous in order for it to be published), this poem laments the position of women as was then conceived natural: subservient to men.Pair “Verses Written by a Young Lady, on Women Born to be Controll’d!” with “Sweat” to provide students with another literary work about the status of women. Ask students to compare the themes of the two texts. If Delia from “Sweat” were to read this poem, how might she respond to the sentiment expressed in the last stanza of the poem?
The Harlem Renaissance
- Jessica McBirney
In the informational text “The Harlem Renaissance,” Jessica McBirney discusses how the movement developed and the effect it had on America.Pair “The Harlem Renaissance” with “Sweat” to help students broaden their understanding of this influential artistic and cultural movement. How does Hurston’s writing reflect on the African American experience? How does her writing address social dynamics within the African American community?
- Zora Neale Hurston
In this short story, a man seeks revenge when he loses his wife to another. Written during the Harlem Renaissance, “Spunk” offers an exploration of African American culture and features the use of a distinctive southern dialect.Pair “Spunk” with “Sweat” and ask students to pay close attention to Hurston’s distinctive narrative style. What similarities exist between the two short stories? How does the author’s use of dialogue contribute to the effect of her stories?