The book revolves around one particular idea that God is nature and we should live close to nature, for it is our greatest teacher, and it is once again God. There is this idea in the book that God can manifest through nature, like when Janie was under the fruit tree, in nature, and was finally able to get her thoughts together, figuratively through God (11). Also in the text, Teacake, Janie and Motorboat were watching the hurricane up in the sky. The text directly restated the title, “Their eyes were watching God,” directly implying that the hurricane, a representation of nature, is God himself. This same hurricane puts the three through havoc and nearly kills them; also implying that it is God, himself, only this time, indirectly.
The book also revolves around the idea that God is all around us and inside of us. Transcendentalist theology says that because God is inside of us, and we come from nature, we are also divine. It says that we have a direct relationship with God, and there is no need for organized religion as long as you have a relationship with nature and a clear, Godly understanding of yourself and your environment. (63) Sam, Lige and Joe start a conversation about how God made nature and nat...
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...uitive lifestyles that will not hinder us from our true desires and happiness. This is definitely something to think about: the theory of God being our conscience, our surroundings, and our sense of being. But what we also have to think about anti-transcendentalism in the novel, portrayed by Nanny, for example. Anti-transcendentalist ideas include the opposite as discussed in this essay, and in the novel, like that man is not born good and corrupted by society, but man is born with predetermined good, and predetermined corruption already. Are we born good and develop negative traits as we grow, learn and thrive from our surroundings, or are we born with positive and negative traits in us, then grow and learn to express them more? Which theory do you agree with?
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Perennial Library, 1990. Print.
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