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Their Eyes Were Watching Who? Essay

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Oprah’s interpretation of Their Eyes Were Watching God sends multiple important details and significant events on a mass exodus, completely altering the story. With a different title, changing focus, unrecognizable characters, an altered theme, and the absence of symbolism, the entire meaning of the journey skews in this false interpretation of a classic novel. The elements of racial conflict and the purity of relationships are also replaced, removed, and distorted. All of the major details in the original story never reveal themselves in the movie, making the end product calamitous.
One major insult to the book from the movie comes with the fact that the motion picture ultimately changes the title of the entire work and thus changes the focus. In the book, a hurricane draws closer to the muck while Tea Cake and Janie stay illustrated waiting in the dark of the shack they reside. “They seemed to be staring at the dark, but their eyes were watching God” (Hurston 187). The title remains unscathed and the original focus on the story stays intact. However, the movie changes the entire meaning of the original name. “Tea Cake: What’cha doin’ Janie? Janie: Ah’m watchin’ God” (Their). Not taken into account by the movie, the other characters become unimportant to the plot as Janie watches God. Important characters such as Tea Cake and Joe Starks transform into minor characters. Even the residents of Eatonville and the muck have a forgotten hope for safety and a future, for they become cast aside. Instead, Janie becomes the center of attention and her hopes become the main focus. By doing this, the focus of the story changes making Janie the only focus and the inclusion of the other characters never reaches closure, making their expectati...


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...an Diego, 1 Apr. 2005. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. .
Grey, Katie. "Their Eyes Were Watching God: Analyzing Relationships." teenink. Teen Ink, Web. 20 Nov. 2013. .
Hurston, Zora N. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York, NY: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2000. Print.
Miller, J. Dove. "Movie vs Book: Their Eyes Were Watching God." jdove-miller.hubpages. hubpages, 17 May 2010. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. .
"SparkNotes: Their Eyes Were Watching God: Themes, Motifs & Symbols." sparknotes. SparkNotes, 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. .
Their Eyes Were Watching God. Dir. Darnell Martin. Perf. Halle Berry. Harpo, 2001. DVD.





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