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Tone Analysis of the selected passage from Their Eyes Were Watching God
The somber and effusive tone of the selected passage from Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, is shown through its general diction and imagery. Hurston uses skillfully chosen words to enhance the imagery, and both devices contribute to the tone of this scene.
The somber and the effusive tone can be seen in this passage, which also happens to be the climax of the novel in which Hurston gives the reader a dramatic image of Tea Cake's death scene. Hurston's choice of words and sentences will aid in creating the imagery. In the first paragraph, she describes how 'Tea Cake crumpled at his bullet'; and how Janie 'pried'; her husband's teeth from her arm after 'he crashed forward in her arms.'; She also begins the second paragraph by saying 'It was the meanest moment of eternity'; and how Janie sacrificed herself 'with Tea Cake's head in her lap.'; The mentioning of Janie's sacrifice is crucial to this scene. Even though Tea Cake treated her better than her pasts husbands, the act of Janie shooting Tea Cake shows her newly gained freedom and independence. Janie learns how to live for herself. The effusive tone or the outpouring of emotions can mainly be seen in the second paragraph. The beginning statements of how 'she wanted him to live so much'; and the sentences before that , makes us sympathize for Janie. Janie's emotions can clearly be seen in this section. She ' held his head tightly to her breast and wept and thanked him wordlessly for giving her the chance for loving service.
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Hurston uses Tea Cake's death scene to establish the tone of the passage. Therefore, Hurston uses the diction and imagery to produce the somber and effusive tone in this passage from Their Eyes Were Watching God.