Analysis Of Zora Neale Hurston 's Their Eyes Were Watching God

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On October 9, 2012, in northern Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head (Lieve 1). Prior to this incident, Yousafzai, who lived in a patriarchic society “began giving speeches across Pakistan in favor of education” for women and became “a rising voice of dissent against terror” (3). However, the men in her community felt threatened by the undermining of their power, and one of these men committed a heinous act in order to suppress efforts to achieve equal rights for women. The concept of sexism embedded within the basis of society is reflected in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston’s Reconstruction era tale centers on Janie, a character who attempts to find her own identity in a social structure that seeks to find it for her. The sexism underscores the struggles Janie must face in order to grow and prosper as she continues on her journey towards maturity. This demeaning social force helps the author develop the theme that the restriction of freedom affects the ability of a person to make a difference in their society. Sexism existed for centuries before the setting of Hurston’s novel, but Janie was one of the first women of America fighting for an equal stance. Before Janie’s generation, women were much more forgiving of the imbalance of power between genders. In fact, some women even accepted the system and adopted their restricted lives as something preferable. Janie struggles to accept standing below men and allowing them to control her much
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