Study Guide

The Village Men in Sweat

The Village Men

We like the village men—and not just because it makes us think of the Village People. They're funny, they're raw, and they've got some crazy mouths on them. They make us think of a classic Greek chorus because they comment on the society at hand and give us a fresh outside view of the Delia/Sykes/Bertha situation. For example:

How Syke kin stommuck dat big black greasy Mogul he's layin' roun wid, gits me. (37)

And:

But even so, he useter eat some mighty big hunks uh humble pie tuh git dat lil 'oman he got. She wuz ez pritty ez a speckled pup! (39)

Or what about:

He allus wuz uh ovahbearin' niggah, but since dat white 'oman from up north done teached 'im how to run a automobile, he done got too biggety to live. (42)

It's reassuring to know they see Delia's situation as it is: Really messed up.