Richard Wright’s Misperception of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God

2453 Words 10 Pages
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 …show more content…
However, upon further speculation of the novel, it can be said that even though Wright argues that Hurston did not make enough of a conscious effort to make a political statement with her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, she did; she just did not employ violence to demonstrate that racial oppression does not control her life.
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston follows the main character Janie’s journey to find love on her own terms. The first man she married, she married to appease Nanny, her grandmother. The second man she marries is Jody Starks, who she marries because she failed to find love for her previous husband. After the oppressive Starks dies, Janie remarries Vergible “Tea Cake” Woods, the only man she has ever loved. They move to “the muck” where Janie feels more at home than ever before because she is with Tea Cake and because she can choose to indulge in her own relations without anyone telling her what to do or with whom to associate.
By some tragic circumstance, Janie finds that she must kill Tea Cake before he kills her. When she is put on trial, she chooses not to speak, demonstrating that she found a way to control her voice, thereby asserting her independent womanhood, by the end of the novel. That may have been Hurston’s political message: that women should not be treated as “de mules uh de
Open Document