Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale HurstonI read this masterpiece for the first time in high school. The love story of Janie and Tea Cake is one of stupendous beauty. Zora Neal Hurstons text is a treasure:
So she went on thinking in soft, easy phrases while all around the house, the night time put on flesh and blackness.
Early in life, Janie is taken care of by her grandmother Nanny,
Every tear you drop squeezes a cup uh blood outa mah heart
As she grew, Janie waited for a bloom time, a green time and an orange time.
She is married off to an old, rich man, but grows restless,
There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
Ultimately , she gets an answer takes off with the ambitious Jody Starks. But, her hopes are shattered as Jodys ambitions in Eatonville, FL (coincidentally Hurstons hometown) where she feels,
Four walls squeezing her breath out. as Jody ignores her and builds his empire in the town.
He passes away and Janie meets her true love Tea Cake and she seems to have found her inner peace:
So she sat on the porch and watched the moon rise. Soon its amber fluid was drenching the earth, and quenching the thirst of the day.
Tea Cake gives her some lessons of wisdom:
See dat? Youse got de world in uh jug and make out you dont know it. But Ahm glad tuh be the one tuh tell yuh.
She sheds her reticences and fears in her love for him:
He drifted off to sleep and Janie looked down on him and felt a soul-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.
She never takes on any religion for:
All gods who receive homage are cruel. All gods dispense suffering without reason. Otherwise, they would not be worshipped.
Her love is her temple as she dreamed of under the pear trees as a young girl with Nanny.
Disaster eventually strikes, as it always does, gods dispensing their unreasoning suffering.
The wind came back with triple fury, and put out the light for the last time. They sat in company with the others in other shanties, their eyes straining against crude walls and their souls asking if He meant to measure their puny might against His. They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God.
This novel was a forgotten masterpiece published in 1935 but forgotten until Alice Walker rediscovered her - and her gravesite - in 1977. Since, it has been appreciated as the quiet, beautiful monument to a womans strength and endurance. A must read in these times of women-hating rhetoric in Drumpfs amerikkka. The attacks on Planned Parenthood and the bullshit reverse discrimination are just two of the many demonstrations of why this book is important as both a feminist and anti-racist classic.
Their Eyes Were Watching God is one of the most beautifully evoked portraits of a woman of color that I have ever read.
Zora Neale Hurston Documentary part1
Hurston is widely considered one of the foremost writers of the Harlem Renaissance , a period of great achievement in African American art and literature during the s and s. Her fiction, which depicts relationships among black residents in her native southern Florida, was largely unconcerned with racial injustices.
Zora Neale Hurston
Writing: Zora Neale Hurston Style!
Literary Conventions. Free Indirect Discourse Plot. Time and Space Conventions. Selection List:. Works Examined:. Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Although the framing device of Janie telling Pheoby her story sets up the novel as Janie's story, it is not told in the first person. Instead, a narrative voice tells most of the story, and there has been much discussion of whose voice this is. Claire Crabtree, writing in Southern Literary Journal, argues that it is "always close to but not identical with Janie's consciousness,"' indicating that the omniscient narrator, who knows more about other characters' thoughts than Janie could know herself, is also closely aligned with the heroine. The narrator also uses free indirect speech at many points to convey Janie's thoughts, another indication that the narrator and Janie's consciousness are closely aligned. But Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. All rights reserved.
Zora Neale Hurston-- "Sweat"
A profile of author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. Author and Anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. Zora Neale Hurston was an anthropologist, folklorist and author from the American south. Hurston is credited with having written over thirty short-stories, four novels, two books of collected folklore, and one autobiography as well as numerous articles, essays, and plays. She is best known for her novel Their Eyes were Watching God.
Soon after her birth she moved to Eatonville, Florida which always remained her home throughout her life. Eatonville was the United States first incorporated black township, her father and many other African Americans were involved in the towns governance. Hurston was a very famous black author of short stories, novels and plays. Having close relations with people such as W. She wished to break the color barrier and used her talent as a writer to inform people of the injustice that was racism. She was known during the Harlem Renaissance for her wit, irreverence, and folk writing style.