Guilded-Six Bits Essay

Submitted By greg122292
Words: 939
Pages: 4

Guilded-Six Bits What is the active definition of a real spouse? One may come to the conclusion that a real spouse is the one who is perfect in the relationship and has no flaws. However, be not mistaken, because if that defines a real spouse then there is no such thing as a real spouse on this place called Earth. In every relationship perfection is what one strives for, but perfection is also what one never accomplishes. A real spouse is based upon the love he or she has for their significant other, placing their needs and wants first in every situation. It may be the littlest lie, or the lustful look after another person, every spouse makes mistakes and comes short of the perfection title of a real spouse. In “The Gilded Six-Bits,” Missie May claims she is a real wife, but the story seems to reveal that it is Joe, not she, who is the real spouse. Based upon the second definition, both Missie May and Joe are real spouses. Missie May and Joe live the average, hardworking lifestyle of Negros in their day. Recently married, Joe works at a refinery not far away while Missie May tends to the house each day and carries out duties normally performed by a wife. Based on her love for her husband, and appreciation for his hard work every day, Missie May has the housed cleaned and food ready for Joe when he comes home; “Yo’ water is on de fire and yo’ clean things is cross de bed. Hurry up and wash yo’self and git changed so we kin eat,” (pg 202). After hearing about the new guy in town, Slemmons, and seeing Joe’s complete idolatry for the man’s gold money, Missie May decides to take matters into her own hand. She puts the needs and wants of her husband before hers and decides that she must obtain the gold money in order to make her husband truly happy. After getting caught in the act of adultery, she exclaims that, “Ah love you so hard and Ah know you don’t love me no mo’... Oh Joe, honey, he said he wuz gointer give me dat gold money,” (pg 206). Many women, through sheer embarrassment and shame, would have decided to leave there husband and never look back; but mot Missie May. She stuck by his side through the toughest of times, tending to his every need, loving him more and more and even having a child with him. In the end she even won the approval of her mother-in-law who clearly detested her when she states to Joe, “You oughter be mighty proud ... And you now Ah’m mighty proud too, son, cause Ah never thought well of you marryin’ Missie May,” (pg 209). Missie May portrays the unconditional love, the unfailing care, and the remorseful sadness throughout the story, which are traits only a real spouse can actively show. Although both Missie May and Joe are considered to be real spouses, the actions of Joe throughout the story give him an edge; an edge only a husband of pure worth can obtain. Joe was a very hardworking man. Long were the nights he worked and short were the days he got to spend with his beautiful wife. However, he was very loving and still found time for romantic play with his wife; “It was this way every Saturday afternoon ... Joe smiled indulgently and let his wife go through all of his pockets and take out the things that he had hidden there for her to find ... as if it had not been bought for the sake of this friendly battle,” (pg 201-202). A man that loves his