What Book Was Oprah Reading? Essay

What Book Was Oprah Reading? Essay

Length: 1249 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

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Oprah Winfrey butchers a classic in her production of Their Eyes Were Watching God to the point that major characters and relationships become unrecognizable from the book. Throughout the entire movie, Oprah changes key aspects in character by weakening, strengthening, or removing all moral fiber in characters. She also alters every major relationship in the movie to further show these changes in character. By doing this, Oprah transforms Their Eyes Were Watching God into something completely distorted from its original.
Oprah significantly changes Joe’s character in her production of Their Eyes Were Watching God. Throughout the movie, Joe’s character becomes continually weakened by his actions and the things he allows Janie to do. Joe controls every aspect of both Janie and the people of Eatonville’s lives in the book. “Jody depends on the exertion of power for his sense of himself; he is only happy and secure when he feels that he holds power over those around him...He needs to feel like a ‘big voice,’ a force of ‘irresistible maleness’ before whom the whole world bows” (Analysis). This puts him on a level above the rest of the townspeople and grants him his leadership. In the movie however, Joe does not control or assert himself over the people of Eatonville nearly as much. This lack of power over the people in his life consequently weakens his character. Through the weakening of his character Joe loses a key aspect of his personality in the movie.
Oprah changes Tea Cake in the movie through weakening of his character, the loss of his "bad boy" persona, and his increased dedication to Janie. During the hurricane in the movie, Tea Cake continually becomes significantly weakened after he cannot pull himself out of the water and...


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...Zora N. Their Eyes Were Watching God. 75th Anniversary ed. New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 2006. Print.
Kikaya, Feza. ""Their Eyes Were Watching God" receives mixed reviews." SilverChips. 9 Mar. 2005. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .
"LitCharts: Their Eyes Were Watching God: Themes." LitCharts. LitCharts, 2008. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .
"SparkNotes: Their Eyes Were Watching God: Analysis of Major Characters." SparkNotes. SparkNotes LLC, 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .
"SparkNotes: Their Eyes Were Watching God: Themes, Motifs & Symbols." SparkNotes. SparkNotes LLC, 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .
Their Eyes Were Watching God. Dir. Darnell Martin. Perf. Halle Berry. Harpo Films, 2005. DVD.

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