A Comparison of Zora Neale Hurston and Jacob Lawrence The Harlem Renaissance was a period most notably known for music and art regarding racial divides. Stemming from this broad observation, though, is a series of ideas, motifs, and influences that would construct the central theme of the era, making the period iconic for the development of African American culture. As this time was one of communication and collaboration, these themes readily overlapped between works. Zora Neale Hurston, in her book Their Eyes Were Watching God, covers themes such as the power of the individual; the significance of control over one 's life, and therefore changing course when necessary; and the journey through life, especially the African American journey towards freedom and equal rights. These themes are also noted in Jacob Lawrence 's paintings. The central difference between the two the focus of message, immediately causing differences in terms of points of reference to Harlem; these differences, however, do not change the similarities in theme of the two artists, which both help to establish a core ideology for the Harlem Renaissance. Early in the text of Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston employs imagery and syntax to show Janie uncovering the growth and power she has over her own life. This sort of revelation comes to Janie as Hurston describes that “It had called her to come and gaze on a mystery. From barren brown seems to glistening leaf-buds; from the leaf-buds to snowy
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It is strange that two of the most prominent artists of the Harlem Renaissance could ever disagree as much as or be as different as Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright. Despite the fact that they are the same color and lived during the same time period, they do not have much else in common. On the one hand is Hurston, a female writer who indulges in black art and culture and creates subtle messages throughout her most famous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. On the other hand is Wright, who is a male writer who demonstrates that whites do not like black people, nor will they ever except for when they are in the condition “…America likes to see the Negro live: between laughter and tears.” Hurston was also a less political writer than
Zora Neale Hurston, known as one of the most symbolic African American women during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1930’s. Hurston was known as a non fiction writer, anthropologist and folklorist. Hurston’s literature has served as a big eye opener during the Harlem Renaissance, celebrating black dialect and their traditions. Most of her published stories “depict relationships among black residents in her native southern Florida, was largely unconcerned with racial injustices” (Bomarito 89). Hurston was unique when it came to her racial point of views, promoting white racism instead of black racism. Even though her works had been forgotten by the time of her death, now her literature has left a bigger impact to future literature
The the Novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, by Zora Neale Hurston, departure and reflection the idea of the harlem Renaissance using black community uniting, new beginnings- the great migration from south to north, embracing black/african culture and heritage, and lastly she uses self expression through art to bring forth the more important ideas.
The Harlem Renaissance was a period where African American writers had the opportunity to show their own style of literature. In the novel Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston is about a story based on Janie’s life and how her feelings and attitude change throughout the story. The novel adheres and departs from the Harlem Renaissance. The novel adheres from the Harlem Renaissance on culture,racism,and language. It departs from the Harlem Renaissance by attitude on pride and individuality in Janie's character.
During the 1930s there was a time period known as the Harlem Renaissance, during this time African Americans sought a newfound cultural freedom and advancements in social classes. In the novel, Their Eyes Are Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston portrays both similarities and departures from the ideals of the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston uses the main character Janie to illustrate these ideals such as the struggle to find oneself and fight against the opinions of others. In addition Hurston also depicts issues and similarities like African Americans who achieved high social classes and discriminated those below them, racial segregation, but also a new found African American confidence. She also demonstrates departures from the Harlem Renaissance
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston uses Janie to show that one must have a voice in order to have a sense of who one is and have control over oneself. Janie is a dynamic character and other characters in the novel contributes to her attributes because each of them control specks of her life. To develop as a character, Janie undergoes quests to find her identity and retain it. It is arguable that Janie hangs onto pieces of who she is as she discovers more about herself and gain control over those aspects because Hurston sets the novel up as a frame story. With a frame story, there are reflections happening, so in turn, she must have learned from what she experienced between the beginning and the end of the novel. In addition
Zora Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God follows protagonist Janie Mae Crawford’s journey into womanhood and her ultimate quest for self-discovery. Having to abruptly transition from childhood to adulthood at the age of sixteen, the story demonstrates Janie’s eternal struggle to find her own voice and realize her dreams through three marriages and a lifetime of hardships that come about from being a black woman in America in the early 20th century. Throughout the novel, Hurston uses powerful metaphors helping to “unify” (as Henry Louis Gates Jr. puts it) the novel’s themes and narrative; thus providing a greater understanding of Janie’s quest for selfhood. There are three significant metaphors in the novel that achieve this unity: the
Zora Neale Hurston was an influential African-American novelist who emerged during the Harlem Renaissance. (Tow 1) During the Harlem Renaissance Hurston’s novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God, was written in southern dialect so that the African American audience can relate, mainly because Hurston could only write about what she knew. “In the case of Hurston, dialect, as a regional vernacular, can and does contain subject, experience emotion and revelation.” (Jones 4) when Hurston's novel first was released many people didn't not accept the writing for what it really was. “When Their Eyes Were Watching God first appeared in 1937, it was well-received by white critics as an intimate portrait of southern blacks, but African-American reviewers rejected the novel. (Telgen, Hile 1) In this modern day the novel is well accepted and has been called "a classic of black literature, one of the best novels of the period" (Howard 7) In "Their Eyes Were Watching God", Janie takes on a journey in search of her own identity where each of her three husbands plays an important role in her discovery of who she is.
Human beings love inertia. It is human nature to fear the unknown and to desire stability in life. This need for stability leads to the concept of possessing things, because possession is a measurable and definite idea that all society has agreed upon. Of course, when people begin to rely on what they know to be true, they stop moving forward and simply stand still. Zora Neal Hurston addresses these general human problems in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Hurston, however, does not present the reader with the nihilistic hopelessness of Fitzgerald or Hemingway, but rather offers an understanding of the basic human aspect that causes us to fear emptiness. Janie, the
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston emphasizes that respect empowers. When Janie’s respect for Killicks dwindles, so does Killicks’ power over Janie. Killicks’ lack of power in his and Janie’s relationship is evident in Janie’s fearless refusal to be Killicks’ workhorse. Killicks’ desperate desire to control Janie’s love for him (or lack of love) manifests into verbal abuse, through which he tries to cut down Janie’s sense of security in herself by telling her that there aren’t “no mo’ fools” who would be willing to work and feed Janie, especially after her attractive body loses its youthfulness (30).
In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie is depicted as a seeker searching for a sexual and spiritual awakening, which suggests seekers must discover, in nature, their emerging thoughts of sexuality. Janie’s first encounter with nature occurs immediately after she kisses Johnny Taylor. Her initial experience concerning love is provoked by Janie’s budding thoughts of sexuality while she “was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree”, indicating nature is the only place to discover endearment. Prior to Janie’s new thoughts of sexuality, she was under the strict care of Nanny; living under stringent rules constantly prevented Janie from being exposed to love. Janie broke the overbearing ties of her Nanny and came to
The world of Janie Crawford in Their Eyes Were Watching God was one of oppression and disappointment. She left the world of her suffocating grandmother to live with a man whom she did not love, and in fact did not even know. She then left him to marry another man who offered her wealth in terms of material possessions but left her in utter spiritual poverty. After her second husband's death, she claims responsibility and control of her own life, and through her shared love with her new husband, Teacake, she is able to overcome her status of oppression. Zora Neale Hurston artfully and effectively shows this victory over oppression throughout the book through her use of
Janie, in Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, was a unique individual; as a half-white, half-black girl growing up in Florida in the early 1930's, a lifetime of trials and search for understanding was set for her from the start. As the main character she sought to finally find herself, true love, and have a meaningful life. Growing up, in itself, provides a perfect opportunity for finding that essential state of self-realization and ideal comfort. Michael G. Cooke reviews Their Eyes Were Watching God in his article "The Beginnings of Self-Realization"; within the article it is falsely criticized that every time Janie is negatively impacted she grows to become more
The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement in the 1920s that led to the evolution of African-American culture, expression through art, music, and literary works, and the establishment of African roots in America. Zora Neale Hurston contributed to the Harlem Renaissance with her original and enticing stories. However, Hurston’s works are notorious (specifically How it Feels to Be Colored Me and Their Eyes Were Watching God) because they illustrate the author’s view of black women and demonstrate the differences between their views and from earlier literary works.
In Their Eyes Were watching God, the author, Hurston, is following the lifetime of Janie Crawford. Janie is a freelance girl who is telling her chronicle to her kissing friend, Pheobe. Janie’s conception was a result of Leafy, Janie’s mother, being raped by her school teacher as a young girl. Therefore Janie wasn’t destined to possess a beautiful life. Being as though her mother abandoned her, she was raised by her grandparent, Nanny, and her boss Mrs. Washburn. Since she was raised by them she never had to work as a result of everything was handed to her. Throughout the book Janie goes through 2 marriages, each teaching her one thing new on the way, before finding true love within the third and fulfilling her romantic dream. Although the journey