Their Eyes Were Watching God, Written by Zora Neale Hurston

1374 WordsJul 7, 20186 Pages
Their Eyes Were Watching God, written by Zora Neale Hurston, is a novel about Janie Crawford, a “light” african american woman living in the 1930’s. Janie’s life is chronicled as she tells her friend her story: a pear tree, a dead mule, three marriages, and a hurricane later the reader and the listener, Phoeby, feels they had “‘done growed ten feet higher from jus’ listenin’’” (192) to her story. However, overall Hurston wants the reader to understand that they have to find out about living for themselves by following their own expectations and not the expectations of others for them. The use of the stylistic elements: symbolism, motif, and imagery enhances the message of this novel about finding one’s self amidst a world where everyone…show more content…
Nanny had forced her expectations for Janie on Janie so much it had hurt her, and made it so she hated Nanny in the end. By the end of the book when Janie has gone out and lived life as she wanted and finally felt at peace with herself she “pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see,” (193). This quote explains how, now that she has been to the horizon and lived life to her expectations, Janie is happy and content with herself and can live the rest of her life in peace reflecting back at the life in the meshes of her horizon. The use of the horizon motif adds to the theme of the novel by showing Janie's progression from following the expectations of others to following the expectations for herself, and the discovery of what IS the expectation in life Janie has for herself. Imagery is any text that creates a vivid image for the reader. Hurston has a bevy of imagery in the novel that adds to the theme of it. There is a passage, just after Joe’s death and after Janie gets a sense of how she expects in life, that shows Janie’s struggle to become who she wants to be. “She had found a jewel down inside herself and she had wanted to walk where people could see her and gleam it around. . . When God had made The Man, he made him out of stuff that sung all the time and glittered all over. Then after that
Open Document