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Who Is Watching God? Essay

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Oprah Winfrey implants many differences in the movie adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, which alters the viewer’s perception of the book. She demonstrated relationships between characters unparalleled to those in the prose. Also, her understanding of the plot and symbolism remained inaccurate, as well as, the nature of the main character. Oprah’s interpretation did not match the idea that Hurston had created and therefore, losing the masterful concept of this piece.
At the start of the movie, Oprah takes the relationship between Janie and Pheoby, a lasting friendship that never depicts altercations, and ruins it. “Janie values Pheoby for her open ear and nonjudgmental attitude. She is exactly the conduit Janie needs to vent her feelings about Joe Starks, marriage, and Tea Cake. Pheoby, unlike much of Eatonville, defends Janie’s actions and takes a very modern standpoint- that Janie is her own woman and has a good reason behind all her actions. As a friend, Pheoby’s faith is inspiring and probably influences us as readers to see Janie in a positive light” (Shmoop). Janie and Pheoby confided in each other and could do so without fear of judgment. The book portrays a true friendship that nothing could alter, regardless of the actions the other has committed, or the everyday struggles that every relationship must endure. In the movie, Janie and Pheoby begin a disagreement due to this judgment. When Oprah inserts this confrontation, she destroys the only pure relationship that Hurston created. The two individuals should not have disagreed, but Oprah’s new take on this story caused a negative demonstration of this bond.
Janie and Joe Starks’s relationship included many differences in the movie t...


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... Apr. 2005. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .
Hurston, Zora N. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2013. Print.
Kikaya, Feza, and Zahra Gordon. "Silver Chips Online: Oprah Winfrey's "Their Eyes Were Watching God" receives mixed reviews." silverchips.mbhs. Silverchips, 9 Mar. 2005. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .
Miller, JDove. "Movie vs Book: Their Eyes Were Watching God." jdove-miller.hubpages. HubPages, 17 May 2010. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .
Shmoop Editorial Team. "Pheoby Watson in Their Eyes Were Watching God." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Their Eyes Were Watching God. Dir. Darnell Martin. Perf. Halle Berry. Harpo Films, 2005. DVD.



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