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Zora Neale Hurston Analysis

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"Wading through waist high weeds, Alice Walker stumbled upon a sunken rectangular patch of ground", under it lay the forgotten literary genius of the South: Zora Neale Hurston (Boyd 2). Zora Neale Hurston, was an African-American novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist during the 1920s in Harlem, New York. The 1920s, also known as The Harlem Renaissance, African-Americans were able to express and represent their culture in its entirety, which until then had been pushed aside by the Whites. During this era Hurston not only embraced her culture, but provided women with a model on how to effectively contribute to it themselves. She showed them what it was like to be a woman writer and speak up for what she believed in regardless of the racial…show more content…
This was another reason her writing was often criticized, and the point of the story was overlooked. As a folklorist, Hurston knew to represent the characters correctly, she had to show how they would have been during the era, she wrote about, to open people up to the truth ("Harlem Renaissance). Growing up she was surrounded by successful African-American men and more importantly, women, so in her novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston describes the experiences of an African-American woman named Janie, who struggles to develop her identity. Janie is forced into a marriage by her grandmother, who has raised her since her mother abandoned them. But because of living in slavery, her worldview has been morphed, and marrying off Janie is seen as crucial for her to gain security and status and her only option for success. Janie grows miserable and runs off with another man named Jody, she falls for and marries him. When he becomes mayor, shortly after he forces Janie to submit to his idea of the way he thinks she should behave. Finally, developing the courage to stand up to him, after he belittles her in public, Janie experiences something she never had before, a sense of independence and begins a relationship with God. Realizing how life changing it is, after Jody 's death, Janie stays unmarried for nine months, enjoying her freedom. She goes on with this, until she falls in love and re-marries to a man named Tea Cake, a social, free-spirited man who respects her. Later in their marriage a tornado hits and he is bitten by a rabid dog, falling into insanity, and is forced to kill him, when he pulls a gun on her. At the end of the novel, after being charged as not guilty for the murder of Tea Cake, Janie finally finds peace with him and her own identity as a confident African-American woman, capable of
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