Comparison Essay of "The Gilded Six-Bits & Dead Men's Path" Self titled essay For Love or Success

Essay by Ltamtam4University, Bachelor'sA, April 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.8

For Love or Success

What is a perfect human? Human perfection is measured by our physical abilities or our intellectual achievements. It may also be measured by strength of character in which we all often fall short. Weakness of character, shown through various character flaws cause most of the hardships we endure throughout our lives. I will attempt to show the differences of the characters, Joe Banks, from The Gilded Six-Bits, by Zora Neale Hurston and Michael Obi in The Dead Men's Path, by Chinua Achebe.

Joe Banks, the protagonist shows us a bright side of life. He is a poor man who, "looked to the payroll of the G and G Fertilizer works for support" (Hurston, 252). Joe is a hardworking and energetic African American. He considers himself uneducated and feels that he, "ain't never been nowhere and ain't got nothing," but the life he has created with his wife Missie Mae.

(Hurston, 254) Joe's characteristics are shown throughout the story, portraying a reserved yet polite and outspoken individual. Content within his current situation, Joe seems to long for something more when referring to the "Ten-dollar piece on his watch chain and his mouth jes' crammed full of gold teeth. Sho' wisht it wuz mine." (Hurston, 254) When a slick sophisticated outsider comes into their community and their home Joe's world is suddenly turned upside down. With an infinite adoration for his wife and Joe's imperturbable, passive, and detached emotions allow him to overcome the havoc that attempts to destroy the newlywed's world. His integrity and resilience pays off in the end when a child is conceived reminding him about the important things in life.

In contrast, Michael Obi seems to have an advantage over Joe. Michael is a highly educated and successful young man. He is...