The Eyes Were Watching God Post Harlem Renaissance Essay

The Eyes Were Watching God Post Harlem Renaissance Essay

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Written in seven weeks, Zora Neale Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God post-Harlem Renaissance in the Caribbean. Although sternly critiqued by the male African American in the literary community, Alice Walker who is a prominent female figure in the literary scene, shed light on the novel reviving and revealing the richness of themes the book holds. The setting takes place in Eatonville, Florida which was the first all-black community in the United States, and also where Hurston grew up. (citation) In the midst of a hostile, externally and internally racist, and sexist environment Janie Crawford is put in, Hurston portrays a female character who is fiercely independent and bold in her ideology of love, marriage, and sexuality. Throughout the novel, the reader is brought through Janie’s journey of self-identity. In this, Hurston expresses her views on how society looks at women, specifically African-American women, without explicitly stating it. Hurston cleverly creates Janie to be the unideal women of society during that time to able herself to indirectly verbalize social views on the African-American women. (citation)
Janie Crawford is not your typical “Jane.” Even from a young age, Hurston portrays Janie as a natural romantic adolescent:
She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage! She had been summoned to be...


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... alive. She doesn 't despair; she picks herself up, goes home, and passes on her story:
“The kiss of his memory made pictures of love and light against the wall. Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the wait of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life its meshes! She called her soul to come and see”
Janie is obviously unique. As Lee says, “She does not overcome anything. Rather, she removes herself from the equation of the spectacle and the spectator entirely.” Hurston cleverly creates a character who opposes the norm by simply finding herself and in having confidence in herself. Janie finds different kinds of love that in her three different marriages. Although Logan and Joe have prosperity, material, and high position, they show that love is pure and cannot be connected with superficial things.

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