The Harlem Renaissance was all about freedom of expression and the search for one's identity. Zora Neale Hurston’s, Their Eyes Were Watching God, shows these goals through the main character Janie and her neighbors. Janie freely expressed what she wanted and searched for her identity with her different husbands. Even though Janie was criticized by everyone except her friends, she continued to pursue. She lost everything, but ultimately found her identity. Hurston's writing is both a reflection and a departure from the idea of the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston's writing is a resemblance of a reflection from the ideas of the Harlem Renaissance. The time in which it was written, along with the fact that Hurston had lived in New York City caused many to label the book as a product of the Harlem Renaissance. This was a period from the end of …show more content…
The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural, social, and artistic eruption that took place in Harlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s. Throughout this period, Harlem was a cultural center, drawing black writers, poets, artists, musicians, scholars, and photographers. The Harlem Renaissance was a movement across every form of art, from literature to jazz to painting to drama. Regardless of the fact that Hurston wrote in a particular and geographical area, Hurston held political views that were utterly different from other Harlem Renaissance writers. Their Eyes Were Watching God focuses its plot both on Janie's series of romantic relationships as well as on Janie's individual journey for spiritual nourishment. In the novel, Janie's marriages force her to become aware of what it is that she wants for herself as an individual. This is an important part involving Zora´s writing because she as a person represents the Harlem Renaissance by the story she takes us
When thinking about the novels that are read in high school, To Kill A Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby come to mind for most people. The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston usually is not thought of. Throughout the years, critics believed Hurston’s novel to be just fiction and that it pose no meaning. In spite of the novel not having much politics, it does contain many social issues from the past that are still somewhat relevant today. Above all, Their Eyes Were Watching God deals with the way people are unequally treated in society based on their gender, race, or anything that makes them diverse from others. It is probable that Hurston brings up the controversial issues of her time era in the hope to cause a transformation in the world.
Through her use of southern black language Zora Neale Hurston illustrates how to live and learn from life’s experiences. Janie, the main character in Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, is a woman who defies what people expect of her and lives her life searching to become a better person. Not easily satisfied with material gain, Janie quickly jumps into a search to find true happiness and love in life. She finally achieves what she has searched for with her third marriage.
It is strange that two of the most prominent artists of the Harlem Renaissance could ever disagree as much as or be as different as Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright. Despite the fact that they are the same color and lived during the same time period, they do not have much else in common. On the one hand is Hurston, a female writer who indulges in black art and culture and creates subtle messages throughout her most famous novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. On the other hand is Wright, who is a male writer who demonstrates that whites do not like black people, nor will they ever except for when they are in the condition “…America likes to see the Negro live: between laughter and tears.” Hurston was also a less political writer than Wright. When she did write politically, she was very subtle about stating her beliefs.
Zora Neale Hurston uses narrative structure to convey the theme and meaning of the Their Eyes Were Watching God novel. Throughout the novel, she utilizes an interesting narrative structure, splitting the presentation of the story between high literary narration and idiomatic discourse. The long passages of discourse celebrate the culturally rich voices of Janie’s world. These characters speak as do few others in American literature, and their distinctive grammar, vocabulary, and tone mark their individuality. Zora Hurston’s use of language parallels Janie’s quest to find her “voice.” Henry Louis Gates Jr. makes a remark about the novel, that it is primarily concerned “with the project of finding a voice, with language as an instrument of injury and salvation, of selfhood and empowerment” (Harper). This is demonstrated in the novel when Jody stifles Janie’s speech, when he prevents her from talking after he is named mayor. Her hatred of him stems from this conquest of her individuality (Hurston). On the other ...
Zora Neale Hurston’s, Their Eyes Were Watching God tells about the life of Janie Crawford. Janie’s mother, who suffers a tragic moment in her life, resulting in a mental breakdown, is left for her grandmother to take care of her. Throughout Janie’s life, she comes across several different men, all of which end in a horrible way. All the men that Janie married had a different perception of marriage. After the third husband, Janie finally returns to her home. It is at a belief that Janie is seeking someone who she can truly love, and not someone her grandmother chooses for her. Although Janie eventually lives a humble life, Janie’s quest is questionable.
Zora Neale Hurston was an American novelist, anthropologist, folklorist, and short story writer and is closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Hurston grew up in one of America’s first all-black communities. Growing up in this unique community gave her a sense of independence, freedom and boldness that many African-Americans, especially females, did not have during this time. Growing up in that community distinguished her from other writers of her time, and it is clearly reflected in her work. Hurston wrote many short stories, plays, essays and four published novels. Of all of the works she published and accomplishments she had, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. This novel tells the story of Janie Crawford a young African-American girl growing up in
The novel Their Eyes Were Watching God follows a young woman named Janie living in the 1920’s. Written by Zora Neale Hurston, Janie’s character is mostly developed through her three marriages, to three very different guys, at three different times in her life. As Janie struggles to find a meaning of true love, as well as true love itself, we see her blossom in many different ways. The three men who are basis of this transformation are Logan Killicks, Joe Starks, and TeaCake. Each man has a specific effect on Janie, who is an African American women raised by her old school grandmother.
In Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora illustrates the importance of relationships throughout ones’ life. Through two very different relationships with two very different people, Janie’s self can be determined. When learning about individuality, it is a bare essential to look at their background. Janie’s and my individuality and independence are influenced by both our surroundings our relationships with the people around us.
To most people, the name Zora Neale Hurston is associated solely with Their Eyes Were Watching God, her most famous work. In some cases her name is synonymous with the Harlem Renaissance. However, very few people are informed about the aspects of Zora's life that influenced her writing of Their Eyes , nor do they know about how she arrived in New York to become one of the most famous Black female writers of her time. Robert Hemenway's Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography and Valerie Boyd's Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston both seek to educate people about the life of this writer and to give the reader information about her other literary works. Both authors also draw from other sources to tell the story of Zora's life, including interviews with friends and colleagues and Zora's own words.
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
Zora Hurston was an African American proto-feminist author who lived during a time when both African Americans and women were not treated equally. Hurston channeled her thirst for women’s dependence from men into her book Their Eyes Were Watching God. One of the many underlying themes in her book is feminism. Zora Hurston, the author of the book, uses Janie to represent aspects of feminism in her book as well as each relationship Janie had to represent her moving closer towards her independence.
It’s no wonder that “[t]he hurricane scene in Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is a famous one and [that] other writers have used it in an effort to signify on Hurston” (Mills, “Hurston”). The final, climactic portion of this scene acts as the central metaphor of the novel and illustrates the pivotal interactions that Janie, the protagonist, has with her Nanny and each of her three husbands. In each relationship, Janie tries to “’go tuh God, and…find out about livin’ fuh [herself]’” (192). She does this by approaching each surrogate parental figure as one would go to God, the Father; she offers her faith and obedience to them and receives their definitions of love and protection in return. When they threaten to annihilate and hush her with these definitions, however, she uses her voice and fights to save her dream and her life. Hurston shows how Janie’s parental figures transform into metaphorical hurricanes, how a literal hurricane transforms into a metaphorical representation of Janie’s parental figures, and how Janie survives all five hurricanes.
Their Eyes Were Watching God a story about how Janie reaches a strong sense of self and comes to recognize her independence. But her path toward understanding is not tackle alone. The gender differences that Hurston uses require that males and females provide each other with things that they require but don’t have. Janie sees that fulfilling relationships are shared and based on mutual respect, Hurston demonstrates in Janie’s relat...
This excerpt from Zora Neale Hurston’s book, Their Eyes Were watching God, is an example of her amazing writing. She makes us feel as if we are actually in her book, through her use of the Southern Black vernacular and admirable description. Her characters are realistic and she places special, well thought out sentences to keep us interested. Zora Neale Hurston’s art enables her to write this engaging story about a Southern black woman’s life.
Zora Neale Hurston was a genius whose writing career went unnoticed while she was living. Hurston was an American folklorist, novelist and anthropologist. She wrote four novels , more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays. During the time she was active, Hurston was taken for granted and her work was criticized over the top. Although she didn’t see it while she was alive, her works of writing became famous and international. After Hurston’s death, her career was not only recognized but influential to writers in present day. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” is one of Hurston’s most famous novels and has various editions to it. Her personal life in quite a few ways was reflected through the main character “Janie Crawford”, which makes the novel so much more intriguing. Hurston better known as “The Genius of the South” created a legacy that will never be erased.