Their Eyes Were Watching: Literary Analysis Essay

Their Eyes Were Watching: Literary Analysis Essay

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Literary Analysis of “Their Eyes Were Watching God”
Living during the early nineteen hundreds was not easy for African American women. Women gained power through marriage, but they still were looked down upon and treated like slaves. In the story “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” Zora Neale Hurston uses diction, symbolism, and foreshadowing to reveal how Janie sought to discover her own identity marrying three different men who helped her discover her independence leading to the fact that women were poorly treated during this time period and deserved more respect than they received.
Zora Neale Hurston uses a specific vocabulary to connect her readers to the story as if it were real. The diction chosen for this story gives the reader knowledge about the characters and their different emotions. As soon as the story begins one may conclude that the characters are southern African Americans by the chosen dialect. While Janie is returning to Eatonville it is easily recognized the language from the old women sitting on the porch say things like, “What dat ole forty ole’ ‘oman doin’ wid her hair swangin down her back lak some young gal” (Hurston, Zora Neale. Chapter 1) Diction within this quote is very important because the slang terminology adds effect to the meaning which helps develop the characters within the time period. Without such dialect one may not fully understand the characters background because using words such as “Ah” as “I” and “dat” as “that” portrays a southern accent. The southern accent meanings the female characters are not highly educated so the men do not want them working and they were treated differently. The diction throughout the book also presents the powerful emotions from Janie’s spouses. Joe Starks, Ja...

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...e Watching God." NCWiseOwl. Salem Press, Feb. 1998. Web. 28 May 2014. .
Hurston, Zora Neale. Chapter 1. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel. New York: Perennial Library, 1990. 2. Print.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Chapter 7. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel. New York: Perennial Library, 1990. 76. Print.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel. New York: Perennial Library, 1990. Print.
Johnson, Yvonne. "Their Eyes Were Watching God." NCWiseOwl. Salem Press, 1995. Web. 28 May 2014. .

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