Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston

971 Words4 Pages
Everyday you make judgements. Whether you realize it or not, you make a subconscious judgement whether it is based on what you have heard, or what you have seen. These judgements aren’t always meant to be cold, but often there are subjects that cause people to make harsh and stern judgements. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Hurston uses the character of Janie to show how people judge others by what they’ve seen and heard about their social status and appearance and not by what’s inside. Throughout the novel, there are many judgements made based on only appearance. For example when Janie is entering town at the beginning of the story, the ladies on the proch gossip saying things like, "”What she doin coming back here in dem overhalls? Can’t she find no dress to put on? – Where’s dat blue satin dress she left here in? – Where all dat money her husband took and died and left her? – What dat ole forty year ole ‘oman doin’ wid her hair swingin’ down her back lak some young gal? – Where she left dat young lad of a boy she went off here wid? – Thought she was going to marry? – Where he left her? – What he done wid all her money? – Betcha he off wid some gal so young she ain’t even got no hairs – Why she don’t stay in her class?” (Hurston Page 2). This quote demonstrates the quick judgements that the gossiping ladies on the porch have for Janie. They are judging her for running off with a no-name man as well as they way she is dressed when she trudges into town. There are many judgements expressed in this book, but they are not always bad. For instance, Janie describes a jaunty fellow who is walking into town as “a cityfied, stylish dressed man with his hat set at an angle that didn’t belong in these pa... ... middle of paper ... and fun and foolishness. We must go dere” (Page 128). Tea Cake is basing this judgement purely off of things he has heard. He assumes it would be a nice place to stay, although he has no real idea. Hurston also demonstrates that these false judgements can lead to something bad as well. Like when Tea Cake tells Janie, "Ah got money on me, Janie. Dey can’t bother me” (Page 156). He has heard about people in the Everglades and has made a false judgement, assuming that everything will be okay if he has money. Throughout the entire novel, Hurston uses Janie to show all the judgements that can be made without even knowing a person or place. Whether the judgement is a harsh or gentle one it is evident that they are made very often. Usually with little evidence about the subject. Ultimately, it is shown that these judgements are often made and can hardly be avoided.
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