This paper analyzes Zora Neale Hurston’s short story, The Gilded Six-Bits.
This paper relates that The Gilded Six-Bits evolves almost like a fairy tale, beginning with a paradise, climaxing with an apparently hopeless wish for wealth, and ending with a twist upon the fulfillment of that hope. The author points out that, for the first few pages of the story, the central romantic protagonists, Missie May and Joe, seem united in a happy household, poor yet well provided for in terms of food, clothing, and love. The paper explains that, although the romantic protagonists remain together at the end and are wealthier, the wealth of the gold becomes a symbol of their division.
Despite such ominous rumblings, overall the rural images Hurston uses at the outset seem to show that the couple is happy together and that their house is happy. A mess of homey flowers planted without a plan but blooming cheerily from their helter-skelter places. (Hurston, 1931, The Gilded Six Bits) Also, the fence and house were whitewashed. The porch and steps scrubbed white. Care is lovingly bestowed on the humble setting, even if it poor.