Posted in Short Stories

Zora Neale Hurston: The Conversion of Sam

Deal Me In 2021 – Week 16

Stella was thrilled to the heart by this passionate appeal. She loved Sam surely, and she wanted to be his wife, but she couldn’t find a word of acceptance that didn’t sound bold and brazen to her. But every woman, whether she be college-bred and city reared, the daughter of wealth and fashion; or just a country girl like Stella has felt that same lack of words under the same circumstance. After a while Stella nodded her head in the affirmative. Sam grabbed her hand and pressed his suit.

Zora Neale Hurston’s short story “The Conversion of Sam” is another story about marriage that is mostly sweet but shows some typical marital bumps along the road not unlike her story “The Gilded Six-Bits”. The marriage in this story, as cute as it might be, has underlying problems as a result of racial issues, gender issues and class issues.

The beauty of the story is that these issues aren’t so overt that it becomes something political. It’s able to remain simply a great story that quietly, but strongly, makes points about the world we live in – both in today’s world and Hurston’s world.

This is included in her collection Hitting a Straight Lick With a Crooked Stick. I read it when I selected the Six of Hearts for Week 16 of my Deal Me In 2021 short story project. Check out my Deal Me In list here. Deal Me In is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.

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