Analysis Of Zora Neale Hurston 's ' The Eyes Were Watching God ' Essay

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Intersectionality is the study of identity that looks at how different aspects of identity intersect with each other to form specific and differing experiences of oppression. Zora Neale Hurston deals with the intersection of race and gender through the story of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God. However, rather than seeing the way in which Hurston deals with this intersection, the author Richard Wright claims, “The sensory sweep of her novel carries no theme, no message, no thought. In the main, her novel is not addressed to the Negro, but to a white audience whose chauvinistic tastes she knows how to satisfy.” While Wright is correct in suggesting that Hurston’s focus is not on race, but rather gender, he is incorrect in suggesting her novel has no purpose and is created simply to be entertainment for white readers. Wright’s own writing focuses entirely on race through a sociological lens that uses women’s dead bodies as objects in order to make arguments about race, and this is why Wright is unable to see the value of Hurston’s novel which focuses heavily on gendered oppression. Analysis of Zora Neal Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God will show that the novel has tremendous worth in how it addresses the intersection of race and gender proving incorrect Wright, whose own writing will clarify that his views on writing make him unable to see the worth of Hurston’s work. Understanding the message that Hurston aims to convey to the reader will clarify how different
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