“The Gilded Six-Bits” Response
1.The story is written as a single continuous narrative, but the events take place over a long period of time. Estimate how much time actually passes between the beginning of the story and end. I would say that the story had to take place probably between nine to ten months. I arrived at this conclusion from information given in the story. Such as I drew from the fact that after being caught with Otis D. Slemmons, Missie May and Joe had not touched in three months, then six months later the baby boy had arrived. So in conclusion I basically just added those months together to estimate how much time actually passed between the beginning of the story and end.
2.How does the narrator’s use of figurative language such as “The hours went past on their rusty ankles”, affect the tone of the story. The narrator’s use of figurative language such as stated affects the tone of the story by slowing it down, giving the reader the affect that from now on in the story things would be slowing down and not like they use to be.
3.Identify the key events of this story and arrange them into rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement. The rising action of the story would be when Joe came home to Missie May bragging and telling her of this new man Slemmons who just opened a new ice cream parlor, and his gold. The climax of the story is when Joe one night getting from work early caught Missie May sleeping with Otis in exchange for some gold. The falling action occurred when Missie Mae was pregnant a few months later. While the denouement occurred when Joe finally figured that the child was in fact a spitting image of him and his, and he continued to throw silver dollars at Missie Mae like old times.
4.In what ways does dialect suggest a sense of place; how do Joe and the candy shop clerk indicate location in their speech? For starters in the story Negro dialect is used to suggest a black community as the sense of place. Furthermore Joe and the candy shop clerk indicate location in their speech that they could be in an area that recently got out of segregation for he said the word “darkies”, but he had also been nice to Joe at the same
time in the store.
5.Compare the written voices of Joe and the candy shop clerk near the end of the story. How does the clerk’s dialect differ? Why do you think Hurston chose to introduce this different voice into the story at the end? The dialect differs between the two at the end of the story showing that Joe’s is more of broken up while the clerk’s dialect is a little more advanced than his. I think Hurston chose to introduce this different voice into the story at the end to show the noticeable pronunciation barrier between the two.
6.Throughout the story. Joe gives coins to Missie May. What is the significance of the silver dollars at the beginning of the story? Contrast this with Joe’s meaning when he leaves Missie May the gilded coin on the table. How has the significance of the silver dollars changed at the end of the story? The significance of the silver dollars at the beginning of the story show a way that the two love birds Missie May and Joe play together. Joe’s meaning when he leaves Missie May the gilded coin on the table is to show her what Otis gave to her was not real at all it was a fraud just like him, unlike the real sliver dollars he tossed at her every Saturday evening. However in the end of the story the significance of the silver dollars changed to show the couple’s love which was much more valuable than gold.
7.Why does Missie May sleep with Mr. Slemmons? In the end, why does Joe forgive his wife? Missie May slept with Mr. Slemmons because he promised her gold coins, and she wanted to get some for her and Joe because she saw how much he admired talking about it the day he had come home. In the end I feel that Joe forgives his wife because he honestly loves her a lot and doesn’t want to let that go, also because now he has a son and he is sure of that for he is the spitting image of himself.