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Zora Neale Hurston The New Negro Analysis

Decent Essays
In the late nineteenth century, racist white writers tended to present in their literary works negative, stereotypic, and distorted representations of the life of Afro-Americans. Their black characters were presented as childish, backward, indolent and sensual in nature. The New Negro movement of the 1920s aimed to wipe these away. It was a period of the great migration. Disrupted relationship with the pastoral stirred a consciousness of deep bonding and the original identity, propelling many Afro-American writers of the period to relocate their roots in their pastoral culture. Revisiting folklores is a part of this exercise. The chief goal of the movement was the affirmation of the folk and expression of the Black folk ethos. But among the New Negroes themselves, there were conflicting ideas about the term ‘culture’.…show more content…
For W. E. B. Du Bois, the New Negro was intellectual elite. Richard Wright believed that the black writer should depict the lives of the proletariat and the middle class in the context of nationalism. As a member of the talented tenth, Zora Neale Hurston was an American anthropologist, a great folklorist, writer, and a well known initiator among Afro-American (female) writers for representing potential aspects of black cultural folk legacy by invoking the pastoral. She was not at all interested in introducing “sociological jeremiad” (Plant 68) in her writings. In order to overcome the painful experience of enslavement, she motivated Afro-Americans to value their folklore and foreground the pastoral life values through her writings. Their Eyes Were Watching God offers an incisive study into it.Hurston uses pastoral elements in Their Eyes Were Watching God, for retaining cultural values and its rich heritage as well as legacy. In fact, in Afro-American scenario ‘pastoral’ is a harmonic blend of nature and culture in addition to the urban and
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