Zora Neale Hurston was one of the first widely acclaimed black writers to "assimilate folk tradition into modern literature and express her interpretations of the black culture throughout her books" (Bailey, 175). She was also one of the most influential of black American writers during the twentieth century because she exceeded the barriers of race, sex and poverty. Hurston's most acclaimed work is said to be Their Eyes Were Watching God, and has been read, adored, rejected, reviewed, and badgered by many literary critics. "In a book rich with imagery and black oral tradition, Zora Neale Hurston tells us of a woman's journey that gives the lie to Freud's assertion that 'the difficult development which leads to femininity seems to exhaust all the possibilities of the individual'" (Morgan, 163). In this as well as in other of her writings, Hurston expresses many of her opinions of race relations, sexism, and classism through her characters, themes and imagery.
The novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God focuses on a character named Janie who is raised by her grandmother on a white plantation in Georgia, and until seeing a photograph of herself, she has always assumed that she is white. She loves her grandmother, but after her grandmother's death, she realizes that she resents her as well. Her grandmother has been strict with her and has taught her that love is obtained only through marriage. Janie feels that her grandmother has taken all of her dreams away. Although she is independent, Janie marries three times. Because of her grandmother she marries Logan Killicks, who works Janie so hard that she decides to leave. Then she meets Joe Star...
... middle of paper ...
...ir Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism, 2008. Print.
Dawson, Emma J. Waters. Images of the Afro-American female character in Jean Toomer's Cane, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, and Alice Walker's The Color Purple. Michigan: UMI Dissertation Information Service, 1990.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Wagvtching God: A Novel. New York: Perennial Library, 1990. Print
Kubitschek, Missy D. "`Tuh de Horizon and Back': The Female Quest in Their Eyes Were Watching God." BALF 17.3 (Fall 1983): 109-15.
Morgan Grant, Alice. ed. All About Zora: Views and Reviews by Colleagues and Scholars. Florida: Four-G Publishers, Inc., 1991.
Wall, Cheryl A. "Zora Neale Hurston: Changing Her Words," American Novelists Revisted:
Essays in Feminist Criticism. Ed. Fritz Fleischmann, New York: G.K. Hall and Co. 1982:371-93.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- There are many widely recognized characteristics that are apart of Southern literature that are present in Flannery O’Connor’s novel Wise Blood. Among the most familiar characteristics of Southern literature is a writing style that is based upon imagery. Another common characteristic which can be drawn from Southern literature is the struggle to understand the difference between what is real human experience as opposed to what is believed to be real, as well as the human/God relationship. Flannery O’Connor’s use of consistent imagery reinforces one of the major themes of Wise Blood – that man seems to only scratch the surface of things, and not see deeper into them.... [tags: Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor, Imagery, Southern L]
1229 words (3.5 pages)
- In The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara fictionally illustrates the historical facts of the battle at Gettysburg. Shaara gives action and words to characters of another time, and then places these players on the stage of this great battle. Through the use of powerful biblical and non-biblical imagery and themes the epic nature of the battle at Gettysburg and its characters are enhanced. Such imagery and themes, combined with Shaara's fictionalization, help to contribute to why this single battle holds such monumental significance and influence upon the lives of Americans over a century removed from its occurrence.... [tags: Killer Angels Essays]
2334 words (6.7 pages)
- Supernatural values and natural imagery are a major theme throughout Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre. This essay will examine the representation of natural and supernatural values that play an integral role in developing the story in Jane Eyre. From the beginning of the novel, the main character, Jane encounters the supernatural. Charlotte Bronte uses both supernatural and gothic themes to enhance situations for the reader and to develop the characters. In particular natural imageries have been used to convey a human connection with the natural world and human nature (Franklin, 1995).... [tags: Literary Techniques, Analytical Essay, Charlotte B]
2129 words (6.1 pages)
- Metamorphosis William Faulkner in his book, As I Lay Dying, portrays a Mississippi family which goes through many hardships and struggles. Faulkner uses imagery to illustrate an array of central themes such as the conscious being or existence and poverty among many others. From the first monologue, you will find an indulgence of sensual appeal, a strong aspect of the novel. Each character grows stronger and stronger each passage. One of the themes in As I Lay Dying is a human's relations to nature.... [tags: William Faulkner]
909 words (2.6 pages)
- The tragic play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare, is a love story between Romeo, the young heir of the Montagues, and Juliet, the only surviving child of the house of Capulet. This story of the young "star-crossed" lovers is an extraordinary work in which Shakespeare uses a variety of verbal imagery including; contrasts between sex and love with hate, conflict, and death, comparisons between romantic and unromantic views of love, the correlative use of light and dark polarity, and the correlation of fate and fortune.... [tags: Shakespeare Romeo Juliet]
1718 words (4.9 pages)
- The structure of Faulk’s Birdsong allows us to observe the impact of the War upon numerous individuals across the generations. Throughout the novel, even outside the 1914-1918 time-frame, Faulks continues to maintain a link between the past and the present through his use of a number of motifs and themes. The lasting impact of the War suggests that history should never be forgotten, which is the paramount message in Birdsong. In Birdsong, Faulks considers the idea of the War as an ‘exploration of how far men can be degraded’ in terms of the impact that war had upon the individual characters, resulting in dehumanisation.... [tags: Battle, Birth]
1221 words (3.5 pages)
- The Revenger’s Tragedy by Cyril Tourneur, was written using symbolism and imagery, which comes from the protagonist (The revenger) Vindice. A main trait of a tragedy is that there will be a downfall of a character within the play, in this case from the opening scene the protagonist, Vindice, is the clear culprit for an emotional meltdown and a tragedy all of his own. These themes of symbolism and imagery in The Revenger’s tragedy are a connection between what is right and wrong. In the first character whom is introduced into the play and is of a high social background, we know this because throughout the soliloquy Vindice speaks using Iambic pentameter (blank verse) however when the charact... [tags: Literary Techniques, Literary Tools]
1149 words (3.3 pages)
- The urban landscape is an important entity in African American literature of the early 20th century. Many of the novels explore the theme of the African American migration and settlement in to the urban livelihoods of the North. Creating complex portraits of the urban landscape many depicting hostile, predatory environments, Through the use of setting “The Street”, “Brown Girl, Brownstones “ and “The Native Son” incorporate an over arching importance of architectural imagery and symbolism infused in the tales of the African American struggle of northern livelihood.... [tags: Literary Analysis, The Native Son]
2475 words (7.1 pages)
- The Effects of Imagery in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Works Cited Missing Shakespeare used many aspects of language particularly imagery in many forms to make Romeo & Juliet more dramatic, exciting and interesting for his audience. He managed to make the play more accessible to his audience. Some of whom, in the sixteenth century, somewhat ill-educated. He used language to convey the main concerns of the public i.e.... [tags: Free Essay Writer]
894 words (2.6 pages)
- William Faulkner in his book "As I Lay Dying" portrays a Mississippi family which goes through many hardships and struggles. Faulkner uses imagery to illustrate an array of central themes such as the conscious being or existence and poverty among many others. From the first monologue, you will find and indulgence of sensual appeal, they are a strong aspect through out the novel. Each character develops stronger and stronger by their passages. One of the themes in As I Lay Dying is a Human's relations to nature, Faulkner uses imagery in the sense that he relates some the character to animals.... [tags: As I Lay Dying Essays]
1001 words (2.9 pages)