Hurston In the novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neal Hurston is about a young woman named Janie Crawford who goes on a journey of self discovery to find her independence. The book touches on many themes like gender roles, relations, independence and racism however racism isn’t mainly focused upon in the book which some writers felt should have been. Some felt that the representation of black characters should have been better role models. Zora Hurston’s novel wasn’t like other black literature. The challenges of what black writers had to face in representing black culture and history were manly focuses on racism and the representation of black culture and history however Zora Hurston novel was about independence and turned away from the stereotypical structure of black literature; focusing more on black women has to deal with in a patriarchy structure. Which can be shown by Janie’s relationships with her grandmother, Logan Killlicks, Jody Stark , and Tea Cake. In the world she was living in we learned how much her world was dominated by male oppression and so Janie tries to separate herself from that. In the beginning of the book when Janie is telling her story to her best friend Phoebe she mentions that she didn’t know she was black when she was really young till she saw herself in picture next to some white kids and didn’t recognize herself. Nora Hurston brings this in the book to show how far Janie had come by the end of the book. As a black women and also
In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston portrays the religion of black people as a form of identity. Each individual in the black society Hurston has created worships a different God. But all members of her society find their identities by being able to believe in a God, spiritual or other. Grandma’s worship of Jesus and the “Good Lawd,” Joe Starks’ worship of himself, Mrs. Turner’s worship of white characteristics, and Janie’s worship of love, all stem from a lack of jurisdiction in the society they inhabit. All these Gods represent a need for something to believe in and work for: an ideal, which they wish to achieve, to aspire to. Each individual character is thus
Throughout the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, there is an ongoing story of how Janie, the main character, grows up and deals with the many challenges life throws at her in her quest for her “Horizons”. A horizon is a metaphor for one’s ambitions, hopes and dreams. To be truly happy, one must conceive their own horizons, explore them and embrace them. Janie’s “horizons” evolve throughout the novel, starting as limited and socially determined, moving towards being expansive, individualized, and fully realized.
Zora Neale Hurston is considered one of the most unsurpassed writers of twentieth-century African-American literature. Published in 1937, Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God depicts the life of Janie Crawford, an African-American woman, who is in search of true love and ultimately her true self. In the novel, Janie shows us that love comes in all shapes and forms, and love is different with each person you choose to love. In the opening of the novel, Hurston uses a metaphor to say that, while men can never reach for their dreams, women can direct their wills and chase their dreams. Hurston uses this metaphor to make a distinction of men and women gender roles, and Janie went against the norms that were expected of her.
Society has always thought of racism as a war given to the lowly African American from the supposedly high class white man, but no one thought there would be prejudice within a hierarchical class system inside the black community. However within that class system, history has shown that darker colored women are at the deep trenches of the totem pole. In the novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” African American women are put under harm and control exposing the racism and sexism with their community. Through the life of Janie Crawford, Zora Neale Hurston portrays the concept of a woman finding her independence in a black, hierarchical, and racist society.
Janie and Nanny’s views on marriage are completely different. Nanny was born during slavery and has seen firsthand the struggle of black women. She wants Janie to live a semi privileged life with a man that can provide for her. She is not concerned with age or love. “De black woman is de mule of de world as far as Ah can see” (Hurston; 1.14). Janie is young and in love with the idea of love and marriage. She has lived a privileged life with minimal worries and does not understand the importance of a man in her life. “Did marriage end the cosmic loneliness of the unmated? Did marriage compel love like the sun the day? (page 21) After her three marriages, Janie believes that love is more important than a big house and
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
Folklorist, anthropologist, playwright, and novelist, Zora Neale Hurston 's career took off after publishing, what is, today, her most famous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Unlike any other work at the time, the dialect in her novels portrayed how African-Americans speak in the deep south. Set in Southern Florida, the heroine Janie, is thought to have been modeled after Hurston, herself, if she had chose to stay in her hometown of Eatonville instead of going to college. In the novel, Janie is unable to develop a life as a New Woman through much of her adulthood due to the geographical area she lived in, basic education, financial state, grandmother 's values, history of slavery, and her marriage to Joe Sparks. Hurston, on the other hand, was able to develop her life as a New Woman due to her access to higher education, financial state, and support from her mother.
The struggle for women to have their own voice has been an ongoing battle. However, the struggle for African American women to have their own voice and independence has been an ongoing conflict. In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie struggles a majority of her life discovering her own voice by challenging many traditional roles that are set by society during this time. Hongzhi Wu, the author of “Mules and Women: Identify and Rebel—Janie’s Identity Quest in ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God,’” recognizes the trend of African American women being suppressed by making a comparison between animals throughout the novel and Janie. Wu argues that there are ultimately two depictions of the mule that the reader remembers and compares both of these interpretations to Janie’s transformation throughout the novel. While Wu’s argument is sound in the fact that it recognizes certain stereotypes African American women faced during this time, Wu fails to recognize Janie’s sexuality in depth as her major push away from the animalistic pressures she has faced.
In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their eyes were watching God the main character Janie is on a quest for self-fulfillment. Of Janie’s three marriages, Logan and Joe provide her with a sense of security and status. However, only her union with Teacake flourishes into true love.
Janie Crawford from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, and Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, were both two women who lived in America during two different time periods, with contrasting backgrounds and beliefs. Hester Prynne, a Puritan who came from England to Boston in the 1600’s, and Janie Crawford, a woman of color living in the deep South in an all Black community post civil war. Janie and Hester are both two outliers in their communities, and were both harassed when there actions differed from the others around them, yet neither of them rebelled and emerged above everyone else in the end.
“’…but she don’t seem to mind at all. Reckon dey understand one ‘nother.’” A woman’s search for her own free will to escape the chains of other people in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God.
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.
Love is different for each and every person. For some, it comes easy and happens early in life. For others, such as Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, it happened much later in life after two unsuccessful marriages. Janie’s grandmother, Nanny raised Janie to be attracted to financial security and physical protection instead of seeking love. Nanny continually emphasized that love was something that was bound to happen after those needs were met; even though Nanny never married. Janie formulates her ideal of love while sitting under a pear tree as a teenager; one that fulfilled her intellectually, emotionally, spiritually and physically. She was then informed that she was to have an arranged marriage to an older
Their Eyes Were Watching God was a book that presented the world with a new look on writing novels. Zora Neale Hurston’s experience in what she has seen through research was embodies in this novel. She demonstrates what data she has collected and intertwined it into the culture within the novel. While being a folklorist/anthropologist, and inspired by her life experiences, she developed a character who dealt with the issues that were not yet uncovered, female empowerment was one of them. Zora Neale Hurston defined this topic of female empowerment throughout the character Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God.
In the novel, Their Eyes Are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and the excerpt from Zora Neale Hurston: A literary Biography by Robert E. Hemenway we see two varying beliefs. Hurston portrays different beliefs of the character know as Nanny. Hurston believes that marrying rich is not what makes you happy. However, Nanny believes that marriage must be to a wealthy man to achieve a happy life, even if you do not love the person.