Down Goes Hurston

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Down Goes Hurston The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s is a great time for black artists; it is a rebirth of art, music, books and poetry. In Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God Janie, the protagonist, is treated kindly for a black women. She does not go through the torment of black culture during that era or the previous eras. Throughout the book Hurston "fibs" about racial oppression. Janie gets respect by the white people she encounters. Hurston makes the reader imagine that African-American life is easygoing. Richard Write’s critique of Their Eyes Were Watching God is accurate and therefore, the book should not be included in the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston breaks several of the themes of the Harlem Renaissance. One in particular is to make other Americans aware of the African-American experience. Richard Write states, "Their eyes, as a novel, exploits those quaint aspects of Negro life that satisfied the tastes of a white audience. It did for literature what the minstrel show did for theater, that is, made white folks laugh"(1). Write, as a critic, fulfills his duty to critique literature truthfully. In Hurston’s novel she rarely states anything about the reality of the South at that time. ‘"Brothers and sisters, since us can’t never expect tuh better our choice, Ah move dat we make Brother Starks our Mayor until we can see further"’(40). In this passage Hurston uses a soft pleasant type of diction. In that south at the time, people were not accepted into towns if they were new to the area. Jody, Janie’s second husband, takes charge and becomes the mayor. The people in the novel respect Jodie and Janie. Being a black man and also the mayor seems a little strange for the South. Most white people of the South dislike black people because most black people are thought to be only "slaves" even though slavery was abolished. Towards the end of the novel Janie is on trial for the murder of Tea Cake, who is Janie’s third husband. ‘"We find the death of Vergible Woods to be entirely accidental and justifiable, and that no blame should rest upon the defendant Janie Woods"’(179). Janie is found not guilty for the murder of her husband. The reader thinks that Janie is really lucky. She is, but in history books black people are always guilty in every singl... ... middle of paper ... ...hat Hurston refuses to state the truth about life is, ‘"But Nanny, Ah wants to want him sometimes. Ah don’t want him to do all de wanting"’(22). In this quote Hurston tries to tell the reader that Janie can love and cherish someone, and someone can treasure and love Janie back. Janie has a lot more to worry about than loving somebody. She has to learn the value of her life. Most blacks of Janie’s time get treated badly. Janie is a very lucky person. She is on the top of the world she does not go through the harsh environment that her fellow brothers and sisters go through. Hurston breaks the three most important rules of the Harlem Renaissance: to protest racial oppression, to make other Americans aware of the African-American experience, and to define and exalt the African-American heritage experience. Hurston takes no time to include these three major themes of the rebirth. Janie is treated like a white woman of the time. Hurston does not include any evidence of racial oppression. She makes black life seem comfortable and pleasant. All of this adds up to a potent argument and that is why Their Eyes Were Watching God should be exiled from the Harlem Renaissance.
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