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A Feminist Reading of Their Eyes Were Watching God

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 2158 words (6.2 double-spaced pages)
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A Feminist Reading of Their Eyes Were Watching God  


   In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, the reader is treated to an enthralling story of a woman’s lifelong quest for happiness and love.  Although this novel may be analyzed according to several critical lenses, I believe the perspectives afforded by French feminists Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray have been most useful in informing my interpretation of Hurston’s book.  In “The Laugh of the Medusa,” Cixous discusses a phenomenon she calls antilove that I have found helpful in defining the social hierarchy of women and relationships between them in the novel.  In addition, Cixous addresses the idea of woman as caregiver, which can be illustrated through the character of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God.  On the other hand, Luce Irigaray discusses the different modes of sexual desire of men and women in her essay, “The Sex Which is Not One.”  Many examples supporting and refuting her claims can be found in the novel. According to Cixous, the most heinous crime committed by men against women is the...


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...Eyes Were Watching God and its companion criticisms so valuable for readers.

 

Works Cited

Cixous, Hélène.  “The Laugh of the Medusa.”  The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends.  Ed. David H. Richter.  Boston: Bedford Books, 1998. 1454-1466.

Hurston, Zora Neale.  Their Eyes Were Watching God.  New York: HarperPerennial, 1998. 

Irigaray, Luce.  “That Sex Which is Not One.”  The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends.  Ed. David H. Richter.  Boston: Bedford Books, 1998. 1467-1471.

 

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