Zora Neale Hurston

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Prescribed question: How does Zora Neale Hurston Portray Folkloric Elements in Their Eyes Were Watching Gods and Jonah’s Gourd Vine?

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IB Extended Essay
Words Count: 3857

I. Introduction:
Born in Alabama on January 7, 1891, Zora Neale Hurston is a celebrated African American author and Harlem Renaissance figure who, studied anthropology and incorporated her research and themes of racial heritage into her work. Of the distinctive features of Hurston’s prose fiction, perhaps none is more important than her extensive use of folkloric materials. With Hurston’s works are often infused with an array of sounds, songs, and stories of folk traditions, they reflect a compelling synthesis of ethnological reality and lively characterization and setting. Among Hurston’s over 50 works, Jonah's Gourd Vine – Hurston's first written novel, and Their Eyes Were Watching God – often acclaimed Hurston's masterpiece, are perhaps the two richest beneficiaries as a folklorist. In general, both novels possess many gripping elements of rich and varied folkloric elements of the Southern United States that would be discussed in the following paragraphs.
In summary, Their Eyes is the tale of Janie Crawford’s journey through three marriages to a final position of self-realization. Meanwhile, Jonah’s Gourd
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The novel begins and ends with, Janie and Pheoby, sitting on the porch of Janie's house, where Janie tells the stories contained within the novel to Pheoby during the course of an evening. As the story proceeds chronologically, Hurston begins Janie's narrative a few pages into the book with her first-person account of incidents from Janie's early childhood, then after the initial incidents, the author eases into a third-person

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