Discussing “She Rock”

From “Hitting a Straight Lick With A Crooked Stick” collection.

“She Rock” is another telling of Hurston's story about Cal'line and her wayward husband. Previously I had a great conversation with Alica from the Pretty Brown Eye Reader YouTube channel about Hurston's short story “The Country in the Woman”. In “She Rock” Hurston uses her old testament writing style to take a different take on the story. In both stories we have a husband who feels that going to Harlem will allow him to date all the women he can get his hands on. In “She Rock” the husbands name is Oscar and in “The Country in the Woman” the husband's name is Mitchell. Even though each story spend a lot of describing the husband's attempts to have his cake and eat it too, the shero of both stories is Cal'line.

In both stories, Cal'line is a woman who will not let her husband treat her with any disrespect. She does this by calmly taking her revenge on her husband and the other woman in his life.

In “The Country in the Woman”, Hurston injects so much humor all through the story. In “She Rock”, the humor occurs at the end. Plus you get a more detail description of what happens to the husband when his wife confronts him in his little love next. In both cases, Cal'line ends up with the coat her husband bought for his girlfriend hanging from the axe she brought to the confrontation.

“She Rock is written like a story you would find in the Old Testament. The theme of leaving a small southern town to go to the Harlem (aka Babylon) appears in both stories. However, in “She Rock” you get a feeling that the husband might get away with his mess until the end.

What is interesting is that Hurston told basically the same story in two very different ways. “The Country in the Woman” is told in a voice similar to someone sitting on the porch in front of Joe Cark's store. “She Rock” sounds like a story a preacher would read from the Old Testament as they prepares for their sermon.

The more I read Hurston's short stories the more impressed I am in her writing skills. She pushed the boundaries and writes about black life in a manner that captures the love, pain and humor in life.

More discussions of Hurston's short stories.