Who Is Watching God? Essay

Who Is Watching God? Essay

Length: 1192 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Oprah Winfrey implants many differences in the movie adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, which alters the viewer’s perception of the book. She demonstrated relationships between characters unparalleled to those in the prose. Also, her understanding of the plot and symbolism remained inaccurate, as well as, the nature of the main character. Oprah’s interpretation did not match the idea that Hurston had created and therefore, losing the masterful concept of this piece.
At the start of the movie, Oprah takes the relationship between Janie and Pheoby, a lasting friendship that never depicts altercations, and ruins it. “Janie values Pheoby for her open ear and nonjudgmental attitude. She is exactly the conduit Janie needs to vent her feelings about Joe Starks, marriage, and Tea Cake. Pheoby, unlike much of Eatonville, defends Janie’s actions and takes a very modern standpoint- that Janie is her own woman and has a good reason behind all her actions. As a friend, Pheoby’s faith is inspiring and probably influences us as readers to see Janie in a positive light” (Shmoop). Janie and Pheoby confided in each other and could do so without fear of judgment. The book portrays a true friendship that nothing could alter, regardless of the actions the other has committed, or the everyday struggles that every relationship must endure. In the movie, Janie and Pheoby begin a disagreement due to this judgment. When Oprah inserts this confrontation, she destroys the only pure relationship that Hurston created. The two individuals should not have disagreed, but Oprah’s new take on this story caused a negative demonstration of this bond.
Janie and Joe Starks’s relationship included many differences in the movie t...


... middle of paper ...


... Apr. 2005. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .
Hurston, Zora N. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers, 2013. Print.
Kikaya, Feza, and Zahra Gordon. "Silver Chips Online: Oprah Winfrey's "Their Eyes Were Watching God" receives mixed reviews." silverchips.mbhs. Silverchips, 9 Mar. 2005. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .
Miller, JDove. "Movie vs Book: Their Eyes Were Watching God." jdove-miller.hubpages. HubPages, 17 May 2010. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. .
Shmoop Editorial Team. "Pheoby Watson in Their Eyes Were Watching God." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 30 Apr. 2014.
Their Eyes Were Watching God. Dir. Darnell Martin. Perf. Halle Berry. Harpo Films, 2005. DVD.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Their Eyes Were Watching God: The Undying Power of Will

- The traditional human existence encounters immense and miniscule transformations in predominant viewpoints directly affecting subsequent proceedings as individuals embark upon an expedition of lucid self-expression to explore personal identity. Literary pieces produced during times of revolution to gain equality and flourishing cultural advancement as artistic innovations, primarily in the Harlem Renaissance, communicates deliberately the liberation of the individuals frequently portrayed as characters....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God]

Strong Essays
785 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Love in Their Eyes Were Watching God

- Love in Their Eyes Were Watching God Love plays a very important role in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes were watching God. Janie spent her days looking for love. She thought of love just as she thought of the elements of springtime: Sunny days, bright skies, a bee pollinating pear tree blossoms. She searched far and wide for this kind of perfect love. Logan Killicks couldn't give this kind of love to Janie. He may not have loved her at all. To him, Janie was just another working set of hands....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Free Essays
639 words (1.8 pages)

Their Eyes Were Watching God - Just Burn It! Essay example

- When one thinks of great literature, authors such as Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, Emerson, and many others come to mind. These writers created seminal works of American literature and gave credibility to the burgeoning American literary tradition. Their work is revered as great literature for its ability to transcend cultural and generational boundaries and its capacity for appealing to people all over the world. As generations come and go, the body of great literature continually increases. Within the past thirty years a trend has developed where academics, particularly feminists, considered Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God as being great literature....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Strong Essays
634 words (1.8 pages)

Essay about A Postmodern Tendancy in Their Eyes Were Watching God

- A Postmodern Tendancy in Their Eyes Were Watching God        ...Zora Neale Hurston lacks [any] excuse. The sensory sweep of her novel carries no theme, no message, no thought. In the main, her novel is not addressed to the Negro, but to a white audience whose chauvinistic tastes she knows how to satisfy. She exploits the phase of Negro life which is "quaint," the phase which evokes a piteous smile on the lips of the "superior" race. -- from "Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)," a review by Richard Wright     An unfortunate side effect of the postmodern tendency is often reactions like the above....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Strong Essays
1922 words (5.5 pages)

Essay on the Voice of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God

- The Powerful Voice of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God The world of Janie Crawford in Their Eyes Were Watching God was one of oppression and disappointment. She left the world of her suffocating grandmother to live with a man whom she did not love, and in fact did not even know. She then left him to marry another man who offered her wealth in terms of material possessions but left her in utter spiritual poverty. After her second husband's death, she claims responsibility and control of her own life, and through her shared love with her new husband, Teacake, she is able to overcome her status of oppression....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Strong Essays
1795 words (5.1 pages)

Characters, Themes and Imagery in Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay examples

- Characters, Themes and Imagery in Their Eyes Were Watching God         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...   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Strong Essays
2985 words (8.5 pages)

Essay on Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God

- The Charater of Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God       In Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie Crawford is the heroine. She helps women to deal with their own problems by dealing with hers. She deals with personal relationships as well as searches for self-awareness. Janie Crawford is more than a heroine, however, she is a woman who has overcome the restrictions placed on her by the oppressive forces and people in her life.   As a young woman, Janie had no complaints about her role in society and fit in as most young people do....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Strong Essays
1124 words (3.2 pages)

An Epic Search in Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay

- An Epic Search in Their Eyes Were Watching God In the novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston shows how the lives of American women changed in the early 20th century. Zora Neale Hurston creates a character in her own likeness in her masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God. By presenting Janie's search for identity, from her childbirth with Nanny to the death of Tea Cake, Hurston shows what a free southern black women might have experienced in the early decades of the century....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Free Essays
808 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God

- Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston portrays the religion of black people as a form of identity. Each individual in the black society Hurston has created worships a different God. But all members of her society find their identities by being able to believe in a God, spiritual or other. Grandma’s worship of Jesus and the “Good Lawd,” Joe Starks’ worship of himself, Mrs. Turner’s worship of white characteristics, and Janie’s worship of love, all stem from a lack of jurisdiction in the society they inhabit....   [tags: Hurston Their Eyes Watching God Essays]

Strong Essays
1505 words (4.3 pages)

Janie's Metamorphosis in Their Eyes Were Watching God Essay example

- Janie's Metamorphosis in Their Eyes Were Watching God   "Dey all useter call me Alphabet 'cause so many people had done named me different names," Janie innocently expresses (Hurston 9). The nickname "Alphabet" is appropriate in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God because she is indefinable to others and herself. From her early childhood, Janie Crawford searches for self-knowledge and grows through her relationships with men, family, and society. The main character continually seeks autonomy and self-realization, but her quest cannot continue as long as she is the object of others....   [tags: Their Eyes Were Watching God Essays]

Strong Essays
1588 words (4.5 pages)