Preview
Preview

Searching for an Inner-Self in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

:: 10 Works Cited
Length: 11402 words (32.6 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Aqua      
Open Document




- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Searching for an Inner-Self in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston


In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston a young girl named Janie begins her life unknown to herself. She searches for the horizon as it illustrates the distance one must travel in order to distinguish between illusion and reality, dream and truth, role and self? (Hemenway 75). She is unaware of life?s two most precious gifts: love and the truth. Janie is raised by her suppressive grandmother who diminishes her view of life. Janie?s quest for true identity emerges from her paths in life and ultimatly ends when her mind is freed from mistaken reality.

Failing to recognize herself as the one black child in a photograph, Janie begins her story without a name or color (Meese 62). ?Dey all uster call me Alaphabet? cause so many people had done named me different names? (Hurston 9). The revelation doesn?t devastate Janie, rather it stands as both a symbol of Nanny?s unrealistic attempts to shield the girl from life and a metaphor for Janie?s lack of self-knowledge (Williams 100). Nanny raised Janie through her own dreams ?of what a woman oughta be and do? (Hurston 100). Nanny projects a stereotypical identity and a secure future for Janie based on what she knows, which is limited by the historical constraints of what she has seen of the white man?s power over blacks (Meese 62). She tries to control Janie under her own rules and unfair authority. Nanny tells Janie,
Honey, de white man is de ruler of everything as far as Ah been able to find out. Maybe it?s someplace off in the ocean where the black man is in power, but we don?t know nothi?n about what we see. So de white man throw down the load and tell de nigger ...


... middle of paper ...


...lating the Rage of Black Women and Narrative Self-Defense.? African American Review 26.1 1992): 147-159.

Hemenway, Robert E. Crayon Enlargement of Life. Modern Critical Views: Zora Neale Hurston. Ed. Harold Bloom. Chelsea House, 1986. 72-80.

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Harper & Row, 1990.
Johnson, Barbra. ?Metaphor, Metonymy and Voice.? Hemenway 160-168.

Jones, Evora. ? Scent and Immersion: Narrative Expression in Their Eyes Were Watching God.? College Language Association Journal 39 (1996): 369-379.

Kaplan, Carla. ?The Oldest Human Longing.? American Literature 61.1 (1995): 115-124

Meese, Elizabeth A. ?Ortality and Texuality in Their Eyes Were Watching God? Crossing the Double Cross: The Practice of Feminist Criticism. North Carolina Press, 1986. 59-70.
Williams, Shirly A. ?Janie?s Burden.? Hemenway 98-105.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on Their Eyes Were Watching God: The Undying Power of Will - The traditional human existence encounters immense and miniscule transformations in predominant viewpoints directly affecting subsequent proceedings as individuals embark upon an expedition of lucid self-expression to explore personal identity. Literary pieces produced during times of revolution to gain equality and flourishing cultural advancement as artistic innovations, primarily in the Harlem Renaissance, communicates deliberately the liberation of the individuals frequently portrayed as characters....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God]
:: 1 Works Cited
785 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Zola Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God - Opening the Heart “We wander for distraction but we travel for fulfillment,” is a great description for what Janie Crawford is looking for on her journey in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (10). It is very clear from the text that Janie is searching for something to fill an empty gap she has due to her past experiences. Her problems could have rooted from her early childhood when she was abandoned by both parents. Her identity struggle can be traced from her bad luck with men. No matter what the cause for her inner conflict, Janie struggles to find fulfilment and has many identity issues....   [tags: literary and charcter analysis]
:: 3 Works Cited
953 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston - Thus, their inability to relate to her does not come from hatred but form their upbringing or skepticism. Janie’s story (profoundly economic in emphasis, as Houston Baker has argued) focuses on three representative husbands (Newman, Oct., 2003). Although the focal point of Their Eyes Were Watching God correlates with Janie’s relationship with her three husbands and other people. It is the main and primary idea of Janie’s search for divine clarification and a strong sense of her own identity. Janie is alone as seen in the beginning and the ending of the story....   [tags: Husbands, Novel, Quest]
:: 2 Works Cited
1052 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God and Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye - "Dey all useter call me Alphabet 'cause so many people had done named me different names," Janie says (Hurston 9). The nickname "Alphabet" is fitting in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God because Janie is always changing and rearraging, never the same. Janie Crawford was constantly searching for happiness, self-realization, and her own voice. Janie dares not to fit the mold, but rather defy it to get what she wants. On the journey to find her voice, she marries three separate men and each one of these men contribute to Janie’s quest in different ways....   [tags: comparison essays] 1018 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
An Epic Search in Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay - An Epic Search in Their Eyes Were Watching God In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston shows how the lives of American women changed in the early 20th century. Zora Neale Hurston creates a character in her own likeness in her masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God. By presenting Janie's search for identity, from her childbirth with Nanny to the death of Tea Cake, Hurston shows what a free southern black women might have experienced in the early decades of the century....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays] 808 words
(2.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Growth of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God - The Growth of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God         Human beings love inertia. It is human nature to fear the unknown and to desire stability in life. This need for stability leads to the concept of possessing things, because possession is a measurable and definite idea that all society has agreed upon. Of course, when people begin to rely on what they know to be true, they stop moving forward and simply stand still. Zora Neal Hurston addresses these general human problems in her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
2959 words
(8.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on the Voice of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God - The Powerful Voice of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God The world of Janie Crawford in Their Eyes Were Watching God was one of oppression and disappointment. She left the world of her suffocating grandmother to live with a man whom she did not love, and in fact did not even know. She then left him to marry another man who offered her wealth in terms of material possessions but left her in utter spiritual poverty. After her second husband's death, she claims responsibility and control of her own life, and through her shared love with her new husband, Teacake, she is able to overcome her status of oppression....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1795 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Imagery in Their Eyes Were Watching God - Positive Imagery in Their Eyes Were Watching God In Zora Neale Hurston's novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, the life of Janie is presented as a journey. Janie survives a grandmother, three husbands, and innumerable friends. Throughout this journey, she moves towards her ideals about love and how to live one's life. Hurston chooses to define Janie not by what is wrong in her life, but by what is good in it. Janie undergoes many changes throughout her journey, but the imagery in her life always conjures positive ideas in the mind of the reader....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1090 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Characters, Themes and Imagery in Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay examples - Characters, Themes and Imagery in Their Eyes Were Watching God         Zora Neale Hurston was one of the first widely acclaimed black writers to "assimilate folk tradition into modern literature and express her interpretations of the black culture throughout her books" (Bailey, 175).  She was also one of the most influential of black American writers during the twentieth century because she exceeded the barriers of race, sex and poverty.  Hurston's most acclaimed work is said to be Their Eyes Were Watching God, and has been read, adored, rejected, reviewed, and badgered by many literary critics.  "In a book rich with imagery and black oral tradition, Zora Neale Hurston tells us of a woman...   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
2985 words
(8.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Janie's Metamorphosis in Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay example - Janie's Metamorphosis in Their Eyes Were Watching God   "Dey all useter call me Alphabet 'cause so many people had done named me different names," Janie innocently expresses (Hurston 9). The nickname "Alphabet" is appropriate in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God because she is indefinable to others and herself. From her early childhood, Janie Crawford searches for self-knowledge and grows through her relationships with men, family, and society. The main character continually seeks autonomy and self-realization, but her quest cannot continue as long as she is the object of others....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1588 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]